Kentucky Fried Politics: A Colonel Sanders Timeline

A shame about Iacocca, but a presidential assassination was bound to happen sooner or later ITTL; it's also a shame about Litton having cancer (BTW, for a TL about a President Jerry Litton, read @Enigma-Conundrum's excellent TL The Beaten Path: One Bicentennial And Counting)…

BTW, Tim Curry would have made a great Zaius of Planet of the Apes had been remade, IMO...
A shame about Iacocca, but a presidential assassination was bound to happen sooner or later ITTL; it's also a shame about Litton having cancer (BTW, for a TL about a President Jerry Litton, read @Enigma-Conundrum's excellent TL The Beaten Path: One Bicentennial And Counting)…

BTW, Tim Curry would have made a great Zaius of Planet of the Apes had been remade, IMO...
I’m flattered! Granted, it’s a much younger Jerry Litton (he actually beats JFK by a few months age-wise on Inauguration Day), but that just makes it a different experience I suppose. Thank you, though.
Chapter 73: August 1995 – November 1995
Chapter 73: August 1995 – November 1995

“God will not place a burden on a man’s shoulders knowing that he can’t carry it”

– Muhammad Ali (OTL)

DINGER NOMINATES SENATOR MEREDITH FOR VP; would be African-American first if confirmed by Senate

…sources close to the President’s vetting committee claim the three finalists were Meredith, a longtime US Senator from Mississippi known for often choosing his personal beliefs over the party line; US Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Native American lawmaker who switched parties only a few years ago; and Congressman Larkin Smith, a consistent “country conservative” from Mississippi. A fourth option suggested by several media outlets, US Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton of Tennessee, was surprisingly not one of the options vetted... According to said sources, the Senate will likely confirm Meredith in order to remove him from their ranks: “He’s popular with his constituents, but not with his fellow lawmakers; they’ll be happy to see him go, even if he isn’t chosen for running mate next year”...

The Washington Post, 8/2/1995


…Ali Sadikin (b. 1927), the longtime Governor of Jakarta, opposed incumbent President Sudharmono (b. 1927) over the issue of government oppression and abuse of power during the nation’s 1993 Civil War. Sudharmono has taken several strides to modernize and diversify the nation’s economy to prevent a repeat of Indonesia’s 1991 economic collapse. With Sudharmono having improved his public image in recent years, the incumbent defeated his challenger by an 8% margin...

The New York Times, side article, 8/2/1995

The film was produced by Universal Studios and Jay Ward Productions (with The Overmyer Network collaborating with the latter), was theatrically released on August 4, 1995, and earned roughly $350 million worldwide against a $48 million budget, making it a major box office success. The film also earned positive reviews from critics and a positive reception from audiences. Its faithfulness to the source material, visual effects, costume design, and performances were particularly praised.


Development And Writing:
In 1985, shortly after purchasing the rights for it, producers Keith Barish and Joel Silver commissioned Steven de Souza to write a script for a film version of The Flintstones. However, de Souza was eventually replaced with Mitch Markowitz, whose idea for the film – the characters seeking employment in a depression-era Bedrock – was too somber, leading to Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, and several other writers being hired to work on the script; by 1991, the script had gone through “at least” 19 writers. The script was finalized in 1993, and focused on the characters’ lives as Fred and Barney compete in a bowling championship, causing a rift between their respective wives as the regional fame gets to them.

John Goodman was sought out for the role of Fred Flintstone “immediately.” Faith Ford was cast as Wilma over Geena Davis and Elizabeth Perkins. Danny DeVito was approached for the role of Barney, but believed he would not do the film justice, and suggested Rick Moranis for the role, which Moranis accepted. Janine Turner was cast as Betty instead of Tracey Ullman or Daphne Zuniga, though her signature giggle had to be dubbed over by voice actor June Foray. Sharon Stone was cast as hotel assistant Miss Stone, while Marilyn Monroe agreed to cameo as Fred’s mother-in-law. Rob Lowe, Nicole Kidman, and John Amos appeared as bowling judges, while John Candy, John Belushi, Kathy Bates, Danny DeVito, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Chris Farley, and Sam Kinison all cameoed as some of Fred and Barney’s fellow bowlers.

Principal photography began in June 1994, and wrapped in September 1994; the film was shot at Glen Canyon, Utah, and on sets in Los Angeles County, California.


The network executives considered the film to be so popular that a sequel was considered, and ultimately made with the core of the original cast intact; it was released in 2001, but failed to be as popular or as financially success as its predecessor. Nevertheless, the success of “The Flintstones” led to The Overmyer Network, and even other studios, consider adapting other ’60s-era cartoons into theatrical films during the late 1990s…


…Lynwood Drake has been found guilty of murder, but due to his history of mental illness and possible schizophrenia, he has just now been sentenced to spending time at a high-security sanitarium before being transferred to a maximum-security prison. The federal judge presiding over the case ruled against the death penalty due to the assassination of President Iacocca occurring in California, his home state, and by a California resident, with the judge arguing he wished to avoid violating the concept of states’ rights…

– KNN, 8/7/1995 broadcast

ANCHOR: ...On Capitol Hill, Senator Gabe Kaplan is calling for what he calls Procedural Restructuring for police officers and precincts amid recent reports that show New York City incarceration rates rising faster than NYC’s crime rate.

CLIP, KAPLAN ADDRESSING SENATE CHAMBER: We’re all still reeling from the loss of Lee Iacocca. It was a shock that’s got us all jumped up. So now we’re seeing assassins everywhere. On every rooftop, under our beds, in cereal bowls, you name it, somebody’s convinced that’s where there’s another Lynwood Drake. And it seems the police in New York – in fact, in lots of cities, it seems – are having vision problems – they can’t tell the difference between a 16-year-old with a spray can and an actual murderous criminal. [snip] Disruptive adolescents need guidance. Treating them like hardened criminals will make them hardened criminals, which makes the cops some real lousy psychics.”

ANCHOR: Kaplan’s calls for a closer study of how police address juvenile delinquency puts the freshman senator at odds with his fellow US Senator from New York, Mario Biaggi.

CLIP, BIAGGI SPEAKING TO REPORTERS: “Kaplan says that more police department needs to be looked at, and that not every kid in an alley with a spray can is a future criminal. Heh, shows what he knows. Zero tolerance is key to keeping our cities and our families safe. It doesn’t matter how young you are, if you act like a criminal, it’s a cop’s duty to treat you like one.”

CONTINUATION OF KAPLANCLIP FROM BEFORE: “It is vital that we properly mold young minds. Young people need moldy minds. Wait, let me rephrase that.”

TON Before Ten: The Morning News, The Overmyer Network, 8/8/1995 broadcast

SHIRLEY DOES IT AGAIN! Liberals Gain Seats As De La Hunty Bests Labor’s Bill Hayden

The Canberra Times, Australian newspaper, 8/11/1995

SEN. NADER CALLS FOR DEEP PROBING OF “BIG PHARMA”: Claims Over-the-Counter Medicine Industry Seeks To “Undermine” UHC With “Unfair” High Prices

The Washington Post, 8/14/1995

…The Arduous March that began at the start of the decade worsened by the floods and torrential rains in the summer of 1995 that ruined both the crops and the emergency grain reserves stored underground. That August, the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs reported that at least 1 million tons of grain reserves had been destroyed by the summer floods. Power-generating capacity was also lost due to storm damage to the country’s basic electric grid; for example, all of the nation’s trains, which ran on electricity, were rendered immobile with the breakdown of the Yalu River’s large hydro turbines.

What little food the government instructed military officers to distribute went not to the worse-off of the starving people first, but instead to those who held special political statuses and/or had obtained special levels of state loyalty. In essence, only higher-class citizens – those connected to the top elite – were actually assisted. As a result, only 6% of the actual population was receiving food aid from the government by January 1996, according to international reports…


[pic: ]

Above: a collective farm in Kaesong, North Korea, c. 1992; a work prison is in the background

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

On August 16, 1995, three US advisory officers, working with the state government of Chihuahua, Mexico, were ambushed. The subsequent Las Virginias Massacre of US agents in Chihuahua became a defining moment as Recreadrug Lords began to defy international pressure more openly. “They have a choice, fight or flight, and most of the cartels have chosen to defy, scoffing at the Mexican government and by extension the people of the world. And the world should not stand for it. The US certainly won’t,” said Robert Smith Walker in a KNN interview the next day. Walker, former Congressman and former US House speaker, was a fierce advocate of stronger drug laws. While in Congress, he had proposed that all federal contractors institute programs among their employees with violations to result in the forfeiture of federal contracts – even if as little as one joint were found in a contractor’s workplace. [1] In the wake of the Las Virginias Massacre, Walker was becoming the face of the calls for stronger action against recreadrugs…

– Roberto Roybal’s South of the Border: US-Mexico Relations During The 1990s, University of Oklahoma Press, 2015

Because it was logistically impossible to send planes overhead to drop food, the U.S. military, under the direction of President Dinger, responded to the summer floods by funneling in counterfeit bill of the North Korean currency (the “won”), creating a financial crisis meant to encourage anti-government sentiment. As people used the money to buy food, loyalist merchants drove up the prices over perceived “inflation,” complicating the situation. As one famine survivor from Cheongjin later put it, “You could tell which bills were fake by nibbling them. The ink used by the Americans tasted better, and with food being so scarce, some government loyalists encouraged us eating the counterfeit wons. They were more edible than the real thing, as it turned out.”


[pic: ]

Above: Kim Jong-il was not amused by American attempts to sabotage the already-damaged North Korean national economy

– Andrew S. Natsios’ The Famines of North Korea, Institute of Peace Press, 2001

…Optical video recording technology was first invented in 1963 by David Paul Gregg and Jim Russell; by 1969, the Dutch corporation “Philips” had developed the videodisc reflective mode; the Dutch combined efforts with the company MCA in 1972, culminating in the Laserdisc being unveiled in 1978, two years after the release of VHS VCR but four years ahead of the CD (based on the same technology but created separately). The 1987 release of the CD Video used digital encoding and served as an example of how the technology of the laserdisc could be condensed into a smaller format.

Due to laserdiscs having high-quality picture and sound, only roughly 2% of American households had them due to their price and their large size of nearly a foot in length. MCA’s 1994 invention of the Micro-LaserDisc combined the CD-Video and Laserdisc to create “a more affordable home-video experience.” The invention was dubbed “the micro-LaserDisc,” or “MLD,” for short. By using a mass-production method of “stamping” the information onto discs only four inches in diameter, MLDs were now typically less than half the cost of a usual laserdisc and only a third of the size.

Apart from film enthusiasts, most consumers did not mind the MLD having inferior picture and sound quality – between mid-1994 and mid-1995, the number MLDs sold in the US dwarfed the number of laserdiscs sold in that same period by 12-to-1. …First introduced in 1994, the MLD gained in “home entertainment” popularity as the 1990s continued on, while regular LaserDisc sales plummeted; by 2000, MLD had completely replaced its larger predecessor…


In late July, six weeks after his arrest, James [Wenneker von Brunn] was indicted. A month after that, on August 25, the federal judge ordered he undergo competency evaluation to determine if he could stand trial. Over the next several weeks, James’ defense sought to prevent him from standing trial. An attempt to find him insane failed due his premeditation, and an attempt to find him in too poor health to stand trial due to past history of sepsis and chronic congestive heart failure also failed.

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011


The Chicago Tribune, 8/26/1995


…After a 6.6 earthquake hit western Macedonia in May, Yugoslavia immediately offered assistance rebuilding the areas worst hit. The Yugoslavian government has helped cover the US$450million in damage in a move that some claim is an attempt to bring Greece into the Yugoslavian sphere of influence. Regardless, the move was much obliged by the citizens of northern Greece, and has significantly improved relations between the two nations in question. Earlier today, the mutually-positive feeling culminated in Yugoslavia’s Presidium, Ibrahim Rugova, and Greek PM Mercouri agreeing to a binational trade deal, that has been approved by King Constantine II, and will most likely be approved of by the E.U. (as Yugoslavia is not a part of the E.U., but Greece is)…

The Atlantis, Greek-American newspaper, 8/27/1995

BOMBS AWAY! Kim Jung-Il Sets Off Nuclear Device In Underground Test, But It May Have Failed To Detonate Correctly!

…Seismology experts who have studied the region’s activities have confirmed that “in all likelihood” a nuclear device was detonated in an underground test site in northern North Korea. However, due to the small size of its reverberations, it is likely that the payload underperformed or failed to fully detonate. Even if this was a misfire or failure, the detonation itself is still a major development for the North Koreans’ unofficial nuclear weapons program…

The New York Post, 8/30/1995

“The reality is that Kim Jung-Il’s most recent attempt to make North Korea a nuclear power instead make his government a hostile global threat.”

– UN Secretary-General, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan of Iran and Switzerland, 9/1/1995


…representatives of the world-renown fried food franchise are urging US Senators and US Representatives against possible warfare with North Korea, possibly over fear that a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula would endanger the lives of employees and customers, jeopardize profits, and endanger the outlets that the billion-dollar corporation (and its parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc.) has established in several locations across South Korea…

Associated Press, 9/2/1995


The Washington Post, 9/3/1995



– Gallup poll, 9/3/1995

In the late summer of 1995, Dinger floated a consideration of his: reversing Iacocca’s spacefaring aspirations in order to balance the budget for the 1996 fiscal year. There was immediate push back from several Senators and Congresspersons supportive of the “Mars Drop ’03” plan, and opposed Dinger suggesting it be pushed back to 2018.

“We need to know all we can about what we’d jump into,” Dinger explained to an Oval Office containing himself and ten members of Congress. “We can get to mars in either summer 2003 or on July 27, 2018, when the planet will be just 35.8 million miles away. And it would be a very good year, with the Red Planet looking very red and bright in the night sky!” Dinger had met with the Treasury and the number-crunchers at NASA; the 2018 trip would cost roughly $500billion-to-800billion in 2018 dollars when adjusted for inflation. Dinger believed the US would be in greater financial shape 23 years, not eight. “I propose launching unmanned probes to better study the conditions on Mars.”

“We’ve already got those!” Glenn exclaimed. Indeed, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, developed by NASA’s Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory, had launched from Cape Canaveral in 1990 [2] on a mission to map the entire Martian Planet, from the ionosphere all the way down to the surface atmosphere, in order to identify potential landing sites for future missions and to relay surface telemetry. It had arrived at Mars in 1991, and began its primary mapping phase in January 1993 [3]. In fact, it had been a contributing factor in Lee Iacocca announcing a Mission to Mars that year in the first place, telling NASA Director Dale Myers “if it’s making us a map, we might as well use it!”

Will Roth, Ranking Member of the US Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Extraterrestrial Competitiveness, added “There also The Prospector, that space probe we launched over a year ago. It just landed on Mars; passed by the Recon Orbiter as it did so, too. The Prospector’s going to conduct analysis on Mars’ atmosphere, climate, geology, rock composition, soil, and all that other stuff. Both probes – the Recon Orbiter and the Prospector – are part of the, um, oh what’s it called, the Mars Environmental Survey Program or something like that – as part of a two-part pre-human setup, with part three being the sending of a rocket to Mars in 2001 with provisions our boys and gals may need over. A Life Preserver of sorts; a lifeboat pushed out to sea ahead of the main ship.”

“Dinger,” Glenn continued, “We’ve already started getting Mars prepped, and it hasn’t sent us into another Great Depression. We can afford this!”

“I dunno, probes aren’t the same as a months-long manned voyage,” Dinger replied. “I just don’t think we can afford this time. The economy’s strong, but it’s not strong enough. Unless it’s a joint effort with the folks in France, the UK, and possibly even China and Russia, this trip could break the bank. Now, I’ve already run the idea past former President Mondale. He was never exactly a NASA fan, and he says he’ll publicly support the proposal of pushing back the launch date to the Plan B date. He’ll back that.”

“But most Americans will not,” John Glenn spouted, but still held back his outrage.

Congressman John Lewis appreciatively took a sheet of paper delivered to him by an intern. “He’s right. In a Gallup poll conducted last year, 79% of 700 Americans polled were supportive of a Mission to Mars occurring in 2003 instead of Plan B’s 2018 date.”

“And to chicken out over costs would be an insult to Iacocca’s legacy,” argued Congressman Mack, a Republican from Florida.

This was the rub that got to Dinger, and made him stop bringing up the idea after the meeting adjourned. Even if the 2003 drop’s price tag was larger than the 2018 one (when not adjusted for inflation, of course), the image of fulfilling the vision of a slain leader was too strong to oppose.

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

BELLAMY: “Dinger’s response to the rise in hostilities from North Korea is very worrisome and troubling. I am very concerned over them. Many of my fellow Democrats have told me they think Dinger, because he is in a very dangerous situation, may lead us into a nuclear war.”

HOST: “Does that mean you’re going to run for the nomination next year?”

BELLAMY: “Well, I have considered it, but I have also considered the work I’m doing at the UN. I think I have a good position at the moment to help the lives and health of a lot more children worldwide, uh, at my current job than at my order job. And there are already a lot of good candidates in the race. So, um, unless there is a significant change in the race, I am not going to run for a job from which the American already fired me.”

– Carol Bellamy, Meet the Press, 9/4/1995 interview


…The assassin is serving time at the Grand Island Maximum Security Correctional Facility in central Nebraska, where he will involuntarily receive mental health improvement therapy. In a twist, given that he killed Iacocca over employment complaints, Drake will also work various prison jobs such as making license plates…

– The Los Angeles Times, 9/5/1995

…Leading up to the 1995 general election, PC leader Diane Cunningham feared a splintering of the conservative vote among four parties, two regional and two more national in their efforts. Along with the PCs was former PC Nova Scotian MP Roger S. Bacon heading the newly-formed Canadian party, and on the regional level were the Albertan Party and the Bloc Québécois…

– Richard Johnston’s The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History, UBC Press, 2017

….students here at ACLU are protesting the University’s recent hiring of former Governor of Alaska Bill Clinton due to Mr. Clinton being at the center of several allegations of sexual pestering over the years, the most recent and most high-profile charge being in 1991, when he was accused of inappropriately caressing current-US Senator Martha Osborne. The students are demanding they reverse their hiring because Mr. Clinton’s long history of misconduct. These nonviolent protestors chanting and holding a sit-in outside this administration building, they reminds me of the youth activism of yesteryear…

– NBC News, 9/10/1995


…the longtime Senator claims he has more experience for the job than anyone else running or considering a run…

The Washington Post, 9/12/1995

…James’ trial began on September 13, 1995. He had already spoken at Drake’s trial, where he applauded Drake upon his entering the courtroom and had said “You did this old man proud when you bumped off that old man.” A week later, due to the testimony of the Secret Servicemen who spotted him approaching the President just before Drake fired, and influenced by my testimony against him, the jury found James guilty of firearms violations and attempted murder, for which he surprisingly received the relatively light sentence of just thirty years in prison. This meant that he would get out and be a free man again until he was 105...

– Evelyn Rich’s Frenzy: That Time I Dated A Monster, The Schiller Institute, 2011


– The Anchorage Daily News, 9/15/1995

…Naturally, we had some grave concerns ahead of the 20th Chicken Dinner Summit In Jerusalem. The Syrian delegates requested heightened security amid fear of prejudiced violence against them from the other delegates, despite the Syrian speakers being against the Three-Day War from the get-go. When their representatives entered, they indeed receive a rather cold reception. It was the speech given by the retiring Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kolleck, that broke the ice; Kolleck was, in fact, instrumental in ensuring the Syrian representatives have a more lukewarm welcome at the function, and by the end of the festivities, ease the tension significantly…

– Mildred Sanders Ruggles’ My Father, The Colonel: A Life of Love, Politics, and KFC, StarGroup International, 2000

In the 1980s, Manning and several colleagues began to grow aware of the political discontent found in Western Canada and of disillusionment Alberta was having with the traditional federal parties. While such sentiments subsided after Yukon politician Erik Nielsen became Prime Minister, they returned upon him leaving office, and grew after he was replaced as PC leader by the subjectively milquetoast Diane Cunningham. After multiple talks in 1993 and 1994 with his fellow populist-conservative Western Canadians, Manning co-founded the Albertan Party, partially inspired by the regional success of the Bloc Quebecois. Initially meant to be a provincial-level-only party, Manning was convinced to encourage the party to participate in the 1995 federal election, but only ran candidates within Alberta. The new party called for reducing federal and provincial government involvement, cutting taxes, and opposing the “distinct society” title given to Quebec. However, the party was disorganized as it tried to hastily expand from some regional popularity into a prominent part of the national stage in time for the 1995 federal election. Party leadership at the federal level was placed in the hands of the populist and socially conservative Bob Ringma, who soon came under scrutiny for bigoted remarks toward Black Canadians and BLUTAGO-Canadians. Ringma ally David Chatters defended these remarks, worsening the party’s image.


Text-to-speech computer endeavors began at M.I.T. during the 1960s with the braille translation software DOTSYS. Robert Mann of M.I.T. received funding in 1971 to expand of this project, leading to RM Computerized Braille Systems being founded in 1972. The inaugural International Workshop on Computerized Braille in Muenster, Germany in 1973 helped make Mann’s company at its product, the DOTSYS II, financially successful. Technological innovation during this period led to further computers and computer programs designed for the blind/visually impaired being developed. For example, in September 1995, Ray Kurzweil, a developer of text-scanning devices since the 1970s, founded Ray-K Educationology, a US tech company focused on literacy solutions and computer-based assistive tools people; its development of the Kurzweil 3000 software made the company a pioneer in the field of text-to-speech software.

…In the 1990s, Microsoft released a new user interface: the CRAVITS (the Computer-Reading Assistant for Visually Impaired Technetters System). With new revisions for Windows released yearly, this highly-customizable interface “allows all major functions of the Microsoft Windows operating system to be controlled with keyboard shortcuts and spoken feedback. These shortcuts are kept as consistent as possible throughout most programs, but the very high number of functions needed to fluidly use modern computer software effectively requires the end user to memorize many specific keystrokes[4]

– Joy Lisi Rankin’s Computers: A People’s History of the Information Machine, Westview Press, 2018

…In the Canadian federal election held on September 26, 1995, several political parties of various ideologies attempted to unseat incumbent Prime Minister Margaret Mitchell (of the far-left Progressive Tomorrow party). Martin wanted to cut the deficit to create a surplus that would then be spent on assisting children in poverty and job creation. Mitchell called for the continuation of the increased government spending on social programs begun under her tenure. Cunningham attempted to walk a tightrope between populism and moderate conservatism by focusing on price controls to combat inflation, touting national unity over Albertan and Quebec regionalism, and vaguely discussing cutting unnecessary government expenditures.

In the end, the PTs defeated Paul Martin Jr. (of the left-of-center Liberal party), albeit while losing three seats and failing to form a majority government once again; like what was done in 1992, the PTs formed a minority government with the Liberals. Meanwhile, Diane Cunningham (of the right-of-center Progressive Conservative party) lost her party three seats, which again ended up in third place. In fourth place was Lucien Bouchard (of the Bloc Quebecois Party).

Three other parties won or retained at least one seat in parliament. In fifth place, former Prime Minister Paul Hellyer led the left-wing populist Action party into picking up a total of 10 seats, while MP Roger S. Bacon of the deeply conservative Canadian party garnered 5 seats. Picking up only three seats, all in Alberta, was the Alberta Party (also informally called the Frontier Party in parts of western Canada) led by former MP Bob Ringma…

– Richard Johnston’s The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History, UBC Press, 2017



[pic: ]
…only Senators Smith (R-AL), Holloway (R-LA), Andrews (R-ND), Thurmond (R-SC), Obenshain (R-VA), Byrd (D-WV) and Cubin (R-WY) voted against Senator Meredith… …Smith states the reason for the “nea” votes is due to reasons that are ideological, not racial: “his spotty voting record makes him unpredictable, and thus unreliable.”…Holloway voiced a similar explanation: “the man is never a team player. He’s bound to be a thorn in the President’s side”…

– The Washington Post, 9/28/1995

“Well, at least nobody will assassinate Dinger – because nobody wants Meredith to be President!”

– US Senator George V. Hansen (R-ID), 9/29/1995 (allegedly)

…Pete [Harman], Jimmy [Carter], Millie, and Harley all concurred that the Three-Day War occurred due to a lack of proper communication between the Syrian and Israeli delegates and their respective governments and communities. Harley and Jimmy believed that the participants of the annual summits had lost sight of what they were meant to be – a platform for local leaders, not national bigwigs. So Jimmy got together with us and we began contacting recurrent delegates to discuss how to best reform the summits. Though I would be lying – and uncharacteristically modest – if I didn’t say that I played a hand in it, too, Harley and Millie were instrumental in contacting local leaders after the ’95 summit to establish local food security programs and to assure them prime seating and slots in the speaking list. Jimmy increased the number of Habitat for Humanity locations in Syria and Israel, and Harley used his status as a former US Senator to discuss the possibilities of easing travel restrictions in the Middle East in order to encourage people in the region visiting different countries…

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997

While tension in the Middle East was dissipating, KFC’s competition was on the rise. Gaining in popularity was the franchise Chic-fil-A, which was not ashamed in catering to socially conservative customers and groups. Franchise founder S. (Samuel) Truett Cathy (1921-2014) proudly a Sunday school-teaching devout Southern Baptist, welcomed clientele supportive of the “traditional family values” Cathy claimed were supported by the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and (somehow) Lee Iacocca but not like Colonel Sanders – a false and ironic notion, given how devoutly Christian the Colonel was in the last quarter of his life, but a notion Cathy promoted nevertheless.

KFC’s countermeasures at this time seemed to be touting its sanitation and safety standards being routinely praised by labor organizations. The company also attempted to highlight and capitalize on the humanitarian contributions made by the Sanders family and Finger Lickin’ Good Inc. in a worldwide promotion of a new FLG slogan, based on the rhetoric of the Colonel: “Good Faith, Good Doin’s, Good Eatin.’”

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

…In space news, NASA space probe “Galileo” has sent back data strongly suggesting that there is be water on Europa, one of Jupiter’s several dozen moons…

– ABC Morning News, 10/3/1995 broadcast


…A judge in Japan has rejected a lawsuit filed by Tokutaro Takayama, the leader of the Aizukotetsu-kai faction of Japan’s yakuza (mafia). The legal challenge opposed Japan’s anti-corruption laws that give greater power to arresting police officers in matter relating to yakuza activities. The judicial decision is a blow to the yakuza, who have faced increases in hostilities from local and national government and law officials in recent years…

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/4/1995

“Today has been a very busy day for Washington, D.C. In the Senate Democratic lawmakers are fighting off efforts led by Republicans to repeal some parts or all of the Federal Jobs Guarantee Bill, leading to Senator Mario Obledo of California giving a fiery speech on the Senator floor earlier today. Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Democratic lawmakers calling for stronger mental health laws have introduced legislation meant to discourage for-profit prisons and encourage for-profit sanitariums, therapy training, affordable counseling, and other related services…”

– CBS Evening News, 10/5/1995 broadcast

“I’M ALL IN!”: Litton Announces White House Bid As His Cancer Enters Remission

…according to the former Vice President, his cancer has entered a state of remission …Litton says of his recent health scare the following: “It put things into perspective for me. It’s cemented my beliefs that, one, family always comes first, and, two, that America’s healthcare system under UHC is the finest there is.” Litton says he is running on more government transparency, and to defend UHC against “the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and their lackeys in congress, who oppose it.”...

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri newspaper, 10/6/1995

LENNON MEETS WITH DINGER AT WHITE HOUSE; Urges US Leader Meet With Kim Jung-Il “Before Thing Go Overboard”


[pic: ]

Above: PM Lennon speaks to American media (an NBC microphone is visible to his left) during his trip to Washington, D.C.

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 10/7/1995

“Quantum Leap was wonderful experience to work on, for all seven seasons. And to be honest, I would have liked to have made an eight, if only for the chance to make an episode covering the Iacocca assassination. It would have been an episode that worked to debunk all those ridiculous conspiracy theories, and focused on Drake’s mental condition in the days or hours leading up to the event, similar to an episode we filmed in Season Three, where Sam ends up in a mental hospital. Would have been expensive, but worth it. Speaking of expensive – the final season is probably the one I’m most proud of because of how diverse the episodes were. Which explains why it was the most expensive season for us to shoot. We dived into the technological aspect of the show, we showed more of what happens to the people who end up in Sam’s body when Sam ends up in theirs, and we better explained how and why things stay on the new path once those people go back to their lives. However, the ending is, in my opinion, not one of our best episodes, and that’s despite how much the audience liked it. I mean, fans of the show, I remember, they really liked how we concluded things. They really liked the sense of closure, the way we had the one scientist character, Dr. Wonderworth, introduced in Season 3, finally make her breakthrough in a natural way and how she and Al finally brought Sam’s consciousness back to his own place and his own body instead of one or the other. Sam finally returns to his wife Donna, and there’s that big scene where Sam and Al share that big hug and it’s all sentimental, but that sentimentality is why I didn’t like it so much. I thought it was too sappy and not dramatic or, you know, big enough, for a series finale, especially given how the episode begins with Sam leaping into an Air Force soldier during the Libya War of the early 1980s. It starts off with bombs going off, end with a hug. I thought it needed to be more profound, or maybe have some extra tension, like some kind of uncertainty that his leap home wasn’t a complete success. Like maybe his leg didn’t leap back so now he’s got someone else’s leg. Or something, I dunno. But, to my surprise, the audience really liked it, so, hey, what do I know?”

– producer/screenwriter Donald P. Bellisario, Archive of American Television, 2001 interview

…A little while after Dinger became President, the U.K.’s British National Space Centre, Russia’s Roscosmos, and France’s Centre National D’études Spatiales all started calling for NASA to allow them to contribute to the US’s 2003 Mars Mission. John Lennon was all “This time, it should be an international effort.” France’s leader pointed to the multinational pooling of minds that went into the I.S.S. and others talked about non-American space voyagers making up a part of the crew. This sucked for everyone on our end because of what bulls#!t it was. NASA had been working with non-American companies for years, acquiring construction materials from China and South Africa, technology from Israel and Japan and all over Europe. It was a global effort lead by the US and we wanted to keep it that way.

Not helping matters was France’s CNDS getting all cocky in October 1995, when their Ariane 4 rocket was successfully launched from French Guiana. They had spent billions of francs – or euros or whatever the French use as currency (wine, probably) – over the course of several years, and could not have afforded to make a mistake, especially after the 1992 explosion of the Ariane 3. The expensive rocket of theirs erupted into a fireball right on the launch pad due to a software problem concerning a handler for horizontal bias variables. I could have fixed that, by the way...

– John McAfee’s autobiography Outer Space Deserves More Iguanas: My Life Being Me, numerous on-net publication sites, 2022


The Washington Post, 10/10/1995


The Los Angeles Times, 10/12/1995


…“It depends on who the Democrats nominate – a representative of the people, or a puppet for billionaire corporations.”…

The Washington Times, 10/14/1995

“Seeing Lee died like that shook me. It showed me just how dangerous being a politician can be. I’ll never run for public office, not ever. If you want to make things better, for your neighborhood, for your country, there are better ways you can do it. Open a business, run a charity, invest in beautification projects, fund some program for something you care about. You don’t need to play politician. I don’t need to play politician. I don’t plan on ending up like Lee. I’ll never run for any office, never.”

– Donald Trump, 6/15/2015 interview

DINGER WELCOMES COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT AT CAMP DAVID TO TALK SHOP; Duo Discuss Binational Coordination Against Guerillas And Cartels

The Washington Post, 10/16/1995


…citing its 1993 decision in the case of Karger v. Sonoma County, the United States Supreme Court today issued its decision to not hear a state ruling from Massachusetts concerning BLUTAG marriages. This means that, unless the controversy is addressed at a future date, BLUTAGs have the right to marry – and to be legally recognized at the state level as a married couple – in The Bay State, and possibly any other states that pass such state-level rulings...

The San Francisco Chronicle, 10/18/1995


London, UK – The man who brought KFC to Britain, opening the first restaurant in Preston, today announced that he is retiring from the board of directors and from management duties for KFC-UK and the Miss Millie’s “spin-off” chain founded in the late 1960s.

Harry Latham set up the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Britain way back in the early 1960s, pre-dating the arrival of McDonald's on this side of the pond by several years, and soon found himself commanding large “empire” of KFC-UK franchises, under the watchful eye of his good friend Colonel Sanders.

Mr. Latham, originally from Bristol, followed the success of KFC with the opening of a new chain of smaller fried chicken shops he called Miss Millie’s. He named them Colonel Sanders’ daughter, Mildred “Millie” Sanders, who took over KFC leadership responsibilities upon the Colonel’s election to the US Presidency in November 1964. Miss Millie’s, under the care of its parent company, Finger Lickin’ Good, Inc., now stretches from Weston-super-Mare to Bristol to Cardiff in a respectable financial showing of its own.

In Mr. Latham’s announcement of his “full retirement” from management responsibilities, he mentioned that the Miss Millie’s chain will remain under his family’s control. His four daughters – Ann Walker, Sheila Wilson, Kerry Baldin and Kate Ostrowski – will take over the running of the franchise; Latham did not state whether this would be for an indefinite period of time, or only temporary, until a more permanent management team could be assembled.

One store manager of a Miss Millie’s outlet says of the announcement, “The owners, management and staff of Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken are saddened by the retirement of its founder Mr. Harry Latham, but we wish him a happy retirement.”

The new owners are very keen to build on the foundations and heritage that Harry has created over the years,” says a low-ranking member of the KFC-UK Board of Directors. “We have plans to increase store numbers in and around the South West over the coming years.”

With his partner Ray Allen, Mr. Latham and the Sanders sisters – Margaret and Millie – set up the first KFC franchise in Britain in Preston in the early 1960s, with the supervision of Colonel Sanders himself during the next few years. The four expanded the franchise to hundreds of stores within ten years.

Mr. Latham next moved on to serving as the managing director of KFC’s operations in Britain in the mid-1970s, before ‘retiring’ to set up Miss Millie’s in 1988, which now has 10 shops across the Bristol and Cardiff areas.

At the announcement of his retirement, Latham shared his experiences with Colonel Sanders, the early days of KFC, and setting up Miss Millie’s. “All our shops had a life-size cut-out of the Colonel in his white suit and walking stick,” he said. “Our late-night customers sometimes ‘borrowed’ these and they ended up in all sorts of places, the favourite being at a bus stop. The bus drivers were not too amused when they stopped and there were no passengers to pick up, but again a story goes around that on a foggy night an elderly lady thought it was a ghost and was so shocked she had to go to hospital,” he added.

Mr. Latham also described how the day they opened the first Miss Millie’s chicken shops in Bristol, it came with an offer. “On the first day as Miss Millie’s we advertised that we would give away two pieces of chicken and chips to the first 100 customers on the following Sunday at each of our Bristol stores,” he said.

“One family appeared in every shop - we must have fed them for days,” he added.

The Louisville Times, Kentucky newspaper, 10/19/1995 [6]

MOTHER-POST: DC Just Cancelled Deadshot Spinoff Flick!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics and Warner Bros. has scrapped plans for a movie either centering on or prominently featuring the character Deadshot, one of the deadliest snipers in the DC Universe, which was to come out in late 1998 and star Billy Zane as Deadshot. Apparently snipers are too sensitive a subject for people in the wake of President Iaccoca. Thoughts?

>REPLY 1: We’ve got to stop cowering in fear. So many people I now keep ankshiously looking at rooftops. Folks are getting paranoid.

>REPLY 2: I’m okay with this. Lets just let everyone calm down, move on, get over it – I think we can – John Wilkes Booth didn’t kill the theater industry, did he? – and maybe we can have this movie after a few years. I’d say give us until 2005, our nation psyche should be able to tolerate glorifying a sniper by then.

>>REPLY 1 to REPLY 2: It’s a slippery slope. Will we become too afraid to ever show guns in movies ever after this?

>REPLY 3: They’re already planning a documentary on Limpwood Dork Lynwood Drake, but we can’t have this? This is ridiculous!

>REPLY 4: DC snipered their sniper movie

–, a public pop-culture news-sharing and chat-forum-hosting netsite, 10/23/1995 posting


…despite ethnic tensions being lowered down to a simmer in Rwanda and Burundi, the UN Secretary-General is receiving some flak over his violation of UN anti-intervention policy, especially in the wake of more recent reports of ethnic massacres targeting Tutsi refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…

The New York Times, side article, 10/28/1995


…under the leadership of the 72-year-old socially conservative Jill Knight, the Conservatives have lost 17 seats, with 15 going to Labour and 2 going to the UK Intrepid Progressives. This swing has granted Lennon’s Labour Party a narrow majority in Parliament, which will strengthen his party’s position and influence in this next term of Prime Minister Lennon. Knight, also known as The Right Honorable Joan Christabel Jill Knight, Baroness Knight of Collingtree, has represented Birmingham Edgbaston in Parliament since 1966 and became the leader of her party after Alastair Goodlad stepped down in 1992…

The Guardian, UK newspaper, 10/29/1995

Mina and the Count
was an American TV series created by Rob Renzetti. Beginning as a series of animated shorts that began airing on November 5, 1995, it ultimately became a full-fledged series that lasted for five seasons and gained a cult following…


…The series’ creator was Rob Renzetti, an animator who also created “My Life as a Teenage Robot,” was a director on several episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory, the Whoop-ass Girls, and Samurai Jack, and has contributed to several other projects as well...


… After Turner-Kennedy Broadcasting, Inc. launched The Cartoon Network in 1991, it soon began competing with The Overmyer Network’s Ton-o-Toons for original creative content, along with the Warner Bros’ Nickelodeon. At the same time, Fred Seibert was heading TON’s Ton-o-Toons division, and sought to capitalize on the Baby Boomer generation’s nostalgia of the Golden Age of American Animation (1930s-1960s), and also sought to introduce young people to the animated styles of that era as well. These two events led to the 1993 creation of the What-a-Cartoon “showcase” program (lasting from 1993 to 1999), consisting of cartoon shorts not related to one another and each produced by different animators in order to test ideas and proposals for full-fledged animation shows. In early 1995, Seibert greenlit Renzetti’s “Mina and the Count” pilot in response to TKB purchasing the rights to “Count Duckula” several weeks earlier. Positive reception to the short led to additional episodes being produced and aired in 1996 and 1997, which finally convinced TON to greenlight its own TV series, which aired from 1998 to 2003...


…The series is often compared to Dexter’s Laboratory (1996-2004) and the Whoop-ass Girls (1997-2009) for similar humor, tone, and animation styles while still being distinct in its own right…


ANCHOR: “Baptist minister, independent filmmaker, and former Presidential candidate Estus Pirkle has just been declared the winner of tonight’s contest for Governor of Mississippi. Pirkle, a “country conservative” Republican, won over Democrat and state Secretary of State Dick Molpus by a wide margin, with Pirkle receiving roughly 58% of the vote, compared to Molpus receiving roughly 42% of the vote. Now, if I understand correctly, Molpus was not as effective a campaigner as Mabus, and failed to appeal to the state’s Black vote as well as Mabus did in 87 and 91. Is that right?”

ANALYST: “Yes, but I would like to say that I don’t think Pirkle would have won tonight were it not for Mabus’ declining popularity in the state and for the culture shock of the Iacocca assassination. I think Pirkle’s campaign fiery religious rhetoric appealed to a large slice of the state’s white population and maybe even some conservative Black Mississippians, too, who may have been convinced to vote Republican because, well, our new Vice President is a Black Republican. Molpus gave it a fight, it was competitive, but after eight years of Mabus, the pendulum has swung right back to the GOP.”

– CBS Evening News, 11/7/1995 broadcast


…It seems the breed of American activist known as the “actor-politician” did not die out in 1976 with Ronald Reagan’s landslide loss after all! Last night, in a major upending of expectation, film actor and political activist William M. “Sonny” Landham, a libertarian Republican, won the governor’s seat over state Secretary of State Bob Babbage, a moderate Democrat. Sonny Landham best known for playing supporting or starring roles in several 1980s movies such as “Predator,” “In Horizon’s Blue,” “The Psoglavac,” “Boldly Into Hell,” “The Devil’s Doctors,” “Truck Off!” and “Paracel.” After defeating two state representatives in the Republican primary, Landham faced controversy for being libertarian-leaning but pro-war. He also received harsh criticism for racist remarks following the Iacocca assassination, in which the then-candidate claimed “this must have been a Ch*nk conspiracy, only someone as yellow-bellied as a yellowface would do this,” and suggested the US military “reply [with] a counterstrike.” Despite Landham backing conservative policies in a rather conservative state, most polls indicated he would lose handily, by a margin of no less than 5%. Instead, Landham defeated Babbage last night by a margin of 1.9%, or less than 20,000 votes. Descending from Cherokee and Seminole tribes, he will become the first Native American governor of Kentucky on December 12…

The Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky newspaper, 11/8/1995

…Smith attended Henry Hudson Regional High School where he was known for videotaping basketball games for the school. He was inspired by SNL to produce sketch comedy skits for the morning announcements, though these led to two separate incidents in which he was reprimanded for using colorful language in sketches that were aired without prior approval from the school. These incident led to him believing he could make a career in comedy, and began such a career upon graduating in 1988 [5]. However, Smith failed to make an impact in New York City’s comedy scene, and in 1991 moved to California. Without any money due to California lacking a “basic dividend” program like New Jersey, Smith resorted to working as an intern and later editor’s assistant for Universal Pictures. Smith “caught [his] big break” in 1993, when he obtained a paid internship under Steven Spielberg. Being on set with the famous director inspired Smith to go into filmmaking, and soon began work on his first independently-made film, the 1995 horror cult classic “Brodie and Jay: Killer Nerds From Jupiter.” The film was picked up for distribution by Universal; Steven Spielberg later stated “it’s the movie that really made me notice Kevin.” Smith became “a sort of apprentice” soon afterward…


…Late 1995 saw several House Republicans propose cutting Social Security in 1996 in order to avoid it running out of revenue in the long-term. A possible solution to the problem, offered by Congressman Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D-in), was an increase of payroll tax (a tax on earned income, as in wages/salary) set for an early 1996 implementation, as a fiscal year in congress begins on October 1. More fiscally conservative Republican lawmakers disliked the notion of raising taxes in an election year, and instead called for an increase in Congressional oversight of Social Security in order to eliminate “inefficiencies” found within it. This notion called progressives to call for a change in qualification thresholds in order for more wealthy people become ineligible for Social Security benefits. A “means-testing” of raising or lowering certain thresholds found in the Negative Income Tax Rebate came under consideration as well as the new year approached...

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

“You wanted to see me, Father – um, sir?”

“Jong-nam,” the Supreme Leader motioned him into the inner office, a wide chamber whose walls were lined with book never read, maps never viewed, and albums never played, all to present Kim as a man of culture. The dust, way in the back of the shelves, were to present him as a man too busy to partake in culture, I suppose. “I take it there was a reason why you missed yesterday’s briefing.”

Jong-nam thought back on his day. Woke up, ate, played cards with friends, ate again, went to friends’ house, something poured, same something gulped down, someone young and pretty, nudity, blur, darkness, wake up, medicine, ate again, sleep. When was the meeting?

“I know you visited the Thae estate. Their son likes to lavish and wallow in our nation’s slender even more so than you.”

“I was…making sure that none of the elite were conspiring against you”

The Supreme Leader eyed him.

“You know people tend to say what’s on their mind when they’re drunk.”

“Of course I do. Why do you think your Uncle Pyong-il is in Finland?” Born in 1954, Pyong-il is the younger half-brother of Kim Jong-il. Their sibling rivalry was notorious back in the 1970s. Back then, Pyong-il was also a party animal; he was also a notorious womanizer. At some point, Pyong-il fell out of favor with their father after partygoers began shouting “long live Kim Pyong-il!” to honor their host. Since then, Pyong-il had been sent from Ambassadorship to Ambassadorship, the most recent post being Helsinki. By being far away, Pyong-il he was completely uninfluential and inconsequential in True Korea, and had been practically and quite easily forgotten by most of the populace.

“I want to believe you,” the Supreme Leader finally addressed his son’s claim. He stood up from his seat and faced the giant mural of his father, an oil-on-canvas at least twelve feet wide, its length starting a the ceiling and ending one inch short of the floor. Someone held responsible for that missing inch had already been executed for treason, and a new painting was already underway. As his father stood, Jong-nam did the same. When the ruling Kim sat back down, his troubling protégé stayed on his feet. “Jong-nam. Continuing our family legacy requires you to become just as super-intelligent as me. It is a monumental task requiring a monumental brain, running the most important country on Earth. True Korea requires your full and undivided attention. Anything less and those who wish to destroy this country will find their ways in.” He sighed, “Your sister Sol-song is three years younger than you but is already proving to be an excellent leader, heading the literary affairs at our truth-telling department,” i.e. the propaganda department. He sighed again, “I do not want you to end up like your Uncle Pyong-il, but if you are too incompetent to be my successor, than I will have to find another.”

Jong-nam’s eyes widened at the threat. “Who?” He said either out of curiosity or for lack of something better to say in the shock of the moment.

“At the moment, your younger half-siblings may have to do. Jong-chul just turned 14, but he is a sharp one. Same could be said about Jong-un; though I have not seen him lately, the servants in Switzerland confirm he is one of the school’s top students. And then there’s your half-sister Yo-jong; she’s only eight, but she may have to do if you do not start behaving like the next future Supreme Leader. I might even put your Aunt Kyong-hui in second-in-command if you keep up his disgustingly irresponsible lifestyle of yours!”

“Father, sir,” the younger Kim quickly interjected during the Supreme Leader’s apparent pause, “The next meeting is the day after tomorrow at noon, correct?”

“Yes,” the Supreme Leader said very matter-of-factly.

“I promise I will be there. I’ll be there early if I have to.”

“You do have to.”

“Oh! Um, alright.”

Kim Jung-il’s temper seemed to cool. “You and I need to go over the upcoming nuclear tests. The scientist who replaced the original one has himself been replaced for his slow progress. I want the next test to be ready by the end of January. And I want an arsenal by late spring. Late summer at the very latest.” General O was still overseeing the program, and was still blaming American sabotage for each and every time a miscalculation happened under his geriatric watch. “We will have nothing stand in the way of our destiny, Jong-nam.”

“Destiny, Father, uh, sir?”

“We must destroy our enemies before they destroy us. America killed Russia. America tamed China. America killed our nation’s leader! They will do none of these things to us!”

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004


…Controversy surrounding Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is only rising as the number of parents concerned its dark undertones continues to rise over the past several days and weeks. …“It’s like they’re trying to give Don Bluth a run for his money instead of staying in the family-friendly lane that has made them so successful for so long,” complains a father of five. Others complain of the sexual undertones of the film… Concerned parents from all walks of life and religious are being joined by several religious groups, who seem to be the most critical of the film’s villain being a man of the cloth. “For Pity’s sake, Frollo wasn’t even a villain in the original source material, so they’re insulting people around now and people around back then,” says a pastor from Fort Lauderdale who alleges the film is an “insult” to author Victor Hugo and to “all the people of France” …Walt Disney pictures, however, has kept quiet during all this, essentially ignoring the complainers in the hope that they will eventually go away…

The Hollywood Reporter, 11/11/1995

THE BEAR’S DOGS: A Regional Favorite

Bear’s Hot Dogs [7] is a common staple of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, with outlets ranging as far south as Bethesda and as far north as Boston, but mostly found across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. It is also amazing that the business existed for over twenty years before proving popular enough for the owner to try franchising, much to the benefit of customers outside of its “home town.”

Starting out in Sayreville, New Jersey, these white-yellow-red-and-black sites hosting hot “home chili” began in 1971, when its creator, a private man who goes by the moniker “Bear McSavory,” began making said chili at home and lugging it out to a roadside stop near increasingly-quiet train tracks. The ironically-called “Dirty Water Dogs” made on-site with locally-sourced ingredients for weary and hungry travelers of Bordentown Avenue kept the business afloat, but Bear’s Hot Dogs didn’t expand into a regional delight until the mid-to-late 1990s, when its second location opened up near Asbury Park, New Jersey, on November 12, 1995. Slowly but steadily, McSavory expanded his enterprise thanks to an unconventional marketing strategy that saw outlets be set up shop not close to sports stadiums but instead near where long waiting lines flowing out of the stadiums typically ended for each region.

Bear’s Hot Dogs outlets come in a variety of sizes and modes, as they have a much less uniform aesthetic than other franchises. In stark contrast to the tight ships run by earlier fast-food proprietors like Ray Kroc and the late, great and unparalleled Colonel Sanders, BHD franchise owners have noticeably more control over promotional gimmicks, hiring practices, customer relations rules, and location presentation. The only real rule is to not discontinue food items without prior approval. This led to a bit of confusion last year, when customers went to the technet to complain of BDH discontinuing its original chili recipe for a sweeter variety. The backlash to this was immediate and at times rather intense. With sales dropping, McSavory, still kicking after all these years, brought back the original recipe for the chili. It is now served as the “Classic Bear” recipe, versus the less-popular “Extra Sweet” would-be replacement Chili...



[pic: ]

Above: how the original location, still standing over four decades later, looks today in the year 2014

–’s_dogs, 2014 posting

The American President
is a 1995 romantic comedy drama directed by Sydney Pollack and written by Aaron Sorkin and William Richert. The film concerns a President Len D’Agostino, a widower, who elopes with a progressive environmentalist while trying to pass an anti-corruption bill ahead of a re-election bid. The film premiered on November 17, 1995 to positive reception from critics and audiences. It was nominated for several Golden Globes, and accumulated a worldwide gross of $115million on a budget of $58million.


Robert Redford as US President Len D’Agostino (D-PA)
Olivia Newton-John as Sydney Anna Wade
Barbara Hershey as Helen Wade-Roraglaski
Candice Bergen as Bethany Kodak, Sydney’s employer
Michael Douglas as White House Chief of Staff August Sheppard
Ward Connerly as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Darrel Sudenbaum
Michael J. Fox, Cameron Douglas and River Phoenix as speechwriters Charlie Kinders, Matt Stream, and Jack Lewison
Rebecca Schaeffer as White House Press Secretary Alexis Katalthy
George Chakiris as US Senator Hank Denwell (R-WI)
Kirk Douglas as US Senator Dashiell H. T. “Dash” Nightson IV (D-SC)
Diane Keaton as Martha Nightson
Danny Glover as Governor Harvey Stackhouse (D-MN)

Starting in the late 1980s, actor Robert Redford approached several screenwriters with the simple three-word premise: “the president elopes,” inspired by rumors and hearsay concerning the bachelorette President Carol Bellamy (1989-1993) and also by writer William Richert’s failed attempt to make a film with a similar premise during the early 1980s. Upon Iacocca’s election to the Presidency, writers Aaron Sorkin and William Richert voiced interest in writing a screenplay for a film that was based more on Iacocca than on Bellamy. In a TV Guide interview, Sorkin explained that Bellamy was willfully single, while Iacocca was a widower, and so a character based on the latter would “be way more interesting.” Redford opposed selecting Rob Reiner to direct the project due to Reiner’s interest in the political aspect of the film, whereas Redford wanted “to do a love story.” Casting occurred in early 1994 and principle photography wrapped later that same year. Originally set for a July 1995 release date, the film’s premier was pushed back several months following Iacocca’s assassination in order to reshoot several scenes, delete a joke “made at the expense of the mental impaired,” and to insert “a lot more American flags into the movie,” according to Richert in a Variety interview.

The film was a major box office success, with Siskel and Ebert giving it two thumbs up and the former calling it a “charming and captivating romance with a little bit of a political bite.” Film ended up being seen as “an unintentional love letter” to President Iacocca, as Redford’s character is very similar to him (Italian heritage, a widower with two daughters (albeit much younger than Iacocca’s daughters were during his time in the White House) and other details).

While writing the screenplay, Sorkin developed several political ideas for the film that Redford ultimately rejected to keep the story’s focus on the development of the two main characters. Thus, they ended up being removed from the script. Sorkin took many of these ideas and later used them in the TV drama series “The West Wing.”


FIELDS ELECTED GOVERNOR! Beats Horne In A Narrow Upset!

Baton Rouge, LA – Last night’s election results ended a weeks-long debate between two contrasting political ideologies, as Louisiana voters chose a pro-welfare African-American Democrat over a strongly-libertarian Republican in the biggest Democratic pickup of the 1995 gubernatorial season. In the October 21 blanket “jungle” primary, U.S. Congressman Cleo Fields and state senator T. Lee Horne III advanced to yesterday’s runoff contest; Democratic state Treasurer Mary Landrieu came in third in the primary, and Republicans Mike Foster and Dave Treen came in fourth and fifth, respectively. …Fields, an “odds-buster,” grew up in poverty during the 1960s and 1970s. A lifelong supporter of government welfare programs, his “underdog” campaign focused on child nutrition and food insecurity; “When a baby cries, it's not a white baby or a black baby — it's a hungry baby[8]. Fields’ campaign also support gun ownership law reform and openly opposed the “thug life” promoted in many hip-hop songs; Fields seeks to increase state funds for education and environmental protection. …Contrasting sharply with Fields’ policies were those of state senator Horne, a deeply libertarian Republican opposed to all government regulation, and he meant it; Horne possibly lost the vote of many socially conservative Republicans in the state for opposing the government regulation “of behavior between consenting adults[9]. Horne also but stoked up controversy for opposing gun regulations on the grounds of such policies would most likely “unintentionally infringe upon one’s right to self-defense”... Fields, who will turn 33 on November 22, will enter office on January 8…

The Times-Picayune, Louisiana newspaper, 11/19/1995

Following the Japanese House of Councillors election of July 1995, Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s party lost seats in an already-weak and unwieldy coalition; the drop in seats convinced him to resign a few weeks later; he was replaced by Ryutaro Hashimoto, head of the Liberal Democratic Party, on August 30. There was talk of Hashimoto staying tied to his interparty faction as PM, breaking a long-held tradition, but due to the highly tense of the time, Hashimoto declined to do so; such a break of tradition would not occur until several years later.

Hashimoto soon met with his American counterpart to suggest a revising of the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty. In the midst of rising tension in Asia, Dinger concurred with Hashimoto’s belief that the times merited the Japanese Defense Agency being revised and made a ministry. The two men met privately in Honolulu to discuss the expansion of the 1960 treaty on November 2, in which the two heads of state agreed to allow for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to buy or rent out US ships in the event of an attack, and/or as part of a “stop gap.”

When the details of these discussions reached the press, the inaccurately-dubbed “Honolulu Talks” were unpopular among most Japanese citizens. In the Diet, though, LDP House members Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda, and Yoshirō Mori supported the revisions, as well as Hiroshi Mitsuzuka. These politicians were concerned about China as well as North Korea, and welcomed the expanded military options. On November 21, Hashimoto and Dinger formally revised the treaty (of course, with prior approval from the Diet and the Congress, respectively) in a Washington, D.C. ceremony.

As a part of the “deal,” and in an unofficial fulfillment of Lee Iacocca’s call for greater Japanese investments in American production, the JMSDF, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) began investing in US weapons manufacturers. According to an Associated Press expose, the JGSDF purchased 200 AAVs (a form of amphibious landing vehicle) and other American weapons a month later, in December 1995, and were delivered to the country on New Year’s Eve of that year.

The most noteworthy immediate result of the treaty revision was the Japanese government successfully “renting” two of the US’s two most recently-commissioned Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship (aka a LPH, or “Landing Platform, Helicopter”) ships – the USS New Orleans (the LPH-11) and the USS Inchon (the LPH-12). The Japanese getting AWACS on loan from the US was also a major development as well.


[pic: ]

Above: the USS Inchon in 1995. The USS New Orleans would be unofficially renamed the Mount Kita, after the second-highest mountain in Japan, by Japanese officers

Responses to these developments in the US were mixed; a November 25 Gallup poll suggested 53% of Americans supported it, 33% of Americans opposed it, and 14% of Americans were not sure. On the political front, several Democrats running for Presidents claimed the move was a misstep. “This is exactly the kind of irresponsible, belligerent, conspiratorial action that can easily lead us into a nuclear war,” said candidate Jesse Jackson on November 26; fellow candidate John Glenn, however, was quieter on the matter due to his own hawkish tendencies, and instead touted his own foreign policy bona fides for why he would be a better leader to oversee such an expansion of the 1960 Treaty...

– Walter LaFeber’s The Sun And The Eagle: US-Japanese Relations In The Post-Cold War Era, 2019 edition

“…Our first Christmas as the First Family was a bittersweet moment for the White House because of the reason why we Dingers were celebrating it there of all places instead of at 1 Observatory Circle…”

– Paula Dinger, 2009 interview

HOST: This this shift in US-Japan military policy is a very noticeable shake-up. Does it violate the US-Japan Security Treaty of 1960?

Former National Security Advisor ELMO HUNTER: Oh, no, the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between US and Japan grants the US permission to act as peacekeeper in the region. And just like how that treaty was mutually revised to delete US being able to exert its power on any domestic concerns within Japan – they got rid of that part rather quickly – this change just takes advantage of the treaty’s loopholes concerning whether or not Japan’s military loan ships and weapons from the US. They can, and the US is encouraging it because after 35 years of strong US-Japanese relations, this administration has come to believe that Japan should have a greater amount of control over their own affairs.

Former US Secretary of Defense ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO: Yeah, this is very understandable. With North Korea becoming increasingly hostile, it makes sense for Japan to be able to defend themselves in the event of some sort of emergency. That’s very unlikely, but you can’t be too careful when it comes to nukes, and Kim Jung-Il on working on nukes, and aiming to aim them on everyone, it seems.

HUNTER: Preparedness is precautionary, but it’s also economically wise for the US to do this.

HOST: How so?

HUNTER: Because of the Balanced Budget Amendment – I think it’s really smart for President Dinger to free up the military funds that go into docking and maintaining those ships, and to let the Japanese leaders have some more responsibility for the safety and well-being of their own people.

– The Overmyer Network, 11/28/1995 round-table discussion


…Dinger, who turned 49 on August 8th, was a Democrat [10] until Mondale’s mishandling of the economy led to him shifting to the right, switching to the GOP in 1981. The baseball-loving bookworm once worked as a coffee barista before his experience in the US Army (he served in Cambodia from 1968 to 1970) influenced his foreign policy views, as did various ambassadorships from 1981 to 1988… With former Vice President Jerry Litton of Missouri losing momentum due to his cancer diagnosis delaying his entry, and several “big name” politicians such as Governor Evan Bayh of Indiana, US Senator Bill Bradley of Missouri, Governor Mario Cuomo of New York, US Senator Lawton Chiles of Florida, former Governor Bob Ross of Alaska, US Senator and 1988 Presidential candidate Eunice Kennedy-Shriver of Massachusetts, US Senator Gary Locke of Washington state, Governor Jim Florio of New Jersey, US Representative Dick Gephardt of Missouri, US Senator Ann Richards of Texas, US Senator Darcy Richardson of Pennsylvania, US Senator Mario Obledo of California and Governor Evelyn Murphy of Massachusetts all deciding to “sit this one out,” most of whom are doing so due to Dinger’s approval ratings, the party seems to be without a clear frontrunner for the time being. The most recent polling by Gallup shows Litton, US Senator Glenn of Ohio, Governor Ray Mabus of Mississippi being the most recognizable of the candidates [11]… …Former Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter wonders “Will the 1996 election be the long-promised resurgence of the right-leaning Democrat, or the final nail in their coffin?”

The New York Times, 11/30/1995

[1] Italicized part pulled from his wikipedia article
[2] Launched on November 1996, and with the names “Mars Global Surveyor,” IOTL
[3] In OTL, it arrived at Mars in September 1997, began its primary mapping phase in April 1999, its second extended mission phase began in February 2002 (so 1996 ITTL), and its “Science and Support” mission section began in December 2004 (so 1998 or so ITTL).
[4] Passage in italics is from the wiki page for JAWS (“Job Access With Speech”)
[5] IOTL, he was inspired by the 1990 film Slacker to become a filmmaker in New Jersey, but here he doesn’t see the movie (either it never gets made or he never gets around to watching it), and so he tries out the comedy angle first before trying out filmmaking in Hollywood, the traditional place for it…
[6] Italicized lines were pulled from this article, on which this whole passage is pretty much based:
[7] OTL place!:
[8] OTL quote from this person’s wiki page
[9] Ibid.
[10] He worked on Mo Udall’s Presidential campaign, was a legislative assistant to John Culver, and did not change his registration to Republican IOTL; this demonstrates how his experience in TTL’s Indochina Wars and other parts of the Sanders administration influenced his worldview during his formative years.

[11] Speaking of which, ahead of the 1996 Democratic primary season, I made a preference poll to see who should run and of them who should win. Please vote! :) :

Also, here’s a quick breakdown of the 17 candidates on the poll:

Roberto Clemente, 62, the former MLB player and former Governor of Puerto Rico entered the race once US Senator Mario Obledo (D-CA) declined to do so; he’s running a pro-peace, humanitarian campaign with notable religious undertones, either due to his faith, to accrue strong support from Catholic and Hispanic voters, or, most likely, both.

Ann Dunham, 54, the US Secretary of Health And Welfare from 1989 to 1993, has never held elective office, but was a passionate surrogate for Bellamy in 1988 and 1992; a survivor of ovarian cancer (thanks to an early diagnosis via UHC in the autumn of 1994 while working in D.C.), she is well-connected, but that may not translate into the popular grassroots support that she seeks to build up in the early primaries.

Timothy C. Evans, 53, the African-American protégé of Windy City icon Harold Washington, served as the Mayor of Chicago from 1987 until 1995, and forewent re-election in April 1995 to instead try his hand at “pulling a Bellamy,” i.e. advancing from Mayor to President; however, his handling of the city’s crime and poverty rates are being scrutinized, especially in the wake of the Chicago’s Windless Heat Wave in the summer of 1995.

Joan Finney, 71, was the state Treasurer of Kansas for four years, but has been a US Representative since 1979; a former Republican and consistently pro-life, she is from the right-of-center section of the party and seeks to win the suburban, middle-class, and conservative voters in the southern primary contests.

Pete Flaherty, 72, also known as “Mayor Pete,” was the Mayor of Pittsburgh before serving as a US Congressman for several years, and then as Bellamy’s Secretary of State; a self-declared “pragmatic liberal,” he supports finding a peaceful resolution to “The North Korean Question” and touts both his foreign policy and urban development accomplishments in his pursuit of the White House.

John Glenn, 75, a US Senator from Ohio since 1971 and a former astronaut, has run for President twice before, and each time as a centrist appealing to older voters; this time is no different, save for the fact that he has accumulated an impressively large war chest and a legion of top-notch, top-of-the-line campaign surrogates and contributors to push his “modern moderate” message.

Jesse Jackson, 55, a Baptist minister and Civil Rights activist, served as Governor of South Carolina from 1987 to 1991 and as a “special liaison” to the Ivory Coast from 1991 to 1993; running for President for the first time, he’s doing so on a progressive campaign reminiscent of the Gravel campaigns of yesteryear, and aims to assemble a winning coalition of diverse voters, coming from all ethnic and racial groups, as well as from lower and middle classes.

Mickey Leland, 52, a prominent African-American politician, represented Texas’ 18th U.S. House District (Houston) from 1979 to 1989 before being the US Ambassador to Ethiopia under President Bellamy; his “Gravel-lite” campaign’s similarity to Jackson’s is creating concern that the two men will cancel each other out, while his humanitarian activism could threaten to siphon supporters away from Clemente's campaign.

Jerry Litton, 59, made a late entry into the race due to a battle with cancer, but due to his status as Bellamy’s Vice President, the former US Senator from Missouri has a high chance of winning the nomination; though notably to the right of Bellamy (for example, as a Senator, he sponsored a bill to reduce US payments to the UN (OTL)), his connection to her, plus his image of being a charismatic “family man,” appeals to some progressives and young voters, and appeals especially to some suburban, white middle-class, and midwestern voters.

Ray Mabus, 48, the Governor of Mississippi from 1988 to 1996, is aiming to straddle between the progressive and centrist factions while focusing on education reform (reminding people of his raising of teachers’ salaries to record levels while Governor), and increasing exports to “maintain American importance” in the global economy; while increasingly unpopular in Mississippi for allegedly being “out-of-touch” with Mississippians, his supporters believe that “the Face of the New South”/“The Yuppie of the Statehouse” is the only candidate who could return several southern states to the Democrat column.

Rick Perry, 46, was the conservative, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-recreadrug Governor of Texas from 1987 to 1995, whose record in that office, especially his handling of the 1991 hantavirus outbreak, could make for some serious controversy during his bid for the White House; at the same time, he can tout his handling of the early '90s recession and his ability to lure major companies to the state, which lowered Texas' unemployment rates; the youngest candidate in the race, he is also the most conservative candidate in the race, even with his recent pivots to the center.

Vincent C. Schoemehl, 50, the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri since 1993, served as Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri from 1981 to 1993, during which time he promoted “public-private partnerships” for urban design projects, beautification programs, and home safety measures, as well as encouraging small business development; he is running on a moderate platform, offering himself as “a more practical alternate to” Litton, as Schoemehl has put it, but may face criticism for his demolition of historic buildings while Mayor, and over claims of his ZED-style “gentrification” projects increasing homeless in St. Louis during his mayoral tenure.

Jim Slattery, 48, was the progressive Governor of Kansas from 1987 to 1995, during which time he worked on environmental protection, and supported farmer unionizing and the implementation of UHC, though he failed to prevent the construction of the Superconducting Super Collider; a fierce supporter of Bellamy, this anti-war politician is hoping to gain her endorsement, coveted by the “Bellamy” faction of the party, despite running on a “Litton-esque” campaign concerning property tax law reform and retaining the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Bruce Smathers, 53, the son of former US Senator George Smathers, was Florida’s state Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor before serving as its Governor from 1987 to 1995, during which time this "pragmatic centrist" invested in small businesses, improved city infrastructure, and encouraged local charity efforts; his campaign is similar to Mabus’ campaign, but his record is noticeably to Mabus' right.

Gus Triandos, 66, a former MLB catcher and a conservative U.S. Representative from San Jose, California’s District since 1989, is running on a platform more conservative than Glenn’s platform but less conservative than Smathers' platform.

Decatur “Bucky” Trotter, 64, was been the Governor of Maryland since 1991; he is a productive politician, overseeing ZED successes across the state along with welfare reform, tax reform, small business regulation reform, and improvements in the quality of the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority; he is an African-American progressive who may appeal to moderates and business-oriented voters.

Jolene Unsoeld, 65, a US Senator from Washington since 1989 and the wife of famous mountaineer Willi Unsoeld, was one of the first Senators to support a proposed nationwide ban on the private possession of fully automatic weapons; she also supports election finance reform, government transparency, and is a major supporter of alternative fuel sources such as solar, wind, and wave, and of nature conservation efforts.

The next chapter’s E.T.A.: July 14 at the latest!
Last edited:
Yes! Meredith is the VP! So glad great moment for civil rights in the US ITTL. And also happy that VP Litton was able to run after all. I'm hoping either him or Jesse Jackson win the nomination. Sounds like North Korea is definitely going to be a problem. Great update! Love it
Last edited:
Awesome for Meredith. North Korea could be a real problem. Great update. Nice how you find obscure politicians to use in big TTL roles.
Chapter 74: December 1995 – June 1996
Chapter 74: December 1995 – June 1996

“The secret to happiness is freedom. The secret to freedom is courage.”

– Thucydides

The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to both physical and intellectual threats, which explains why we respond to both kinds of threats in the same way, with either violent “fight” or cowardly “flight.” And since it is more socially appropriate to counter-debate than to skedaddle out of the room, “fight” usually wins out. Kim Jung-Il was not immune to nature, to this aspect of the natural human condition. It was just that his nurturing, being raised surrounded by grandeur and receiving praise from birth onward, inflated his ego and the “fight” tendency of his amygdala. The nature and nurture conditions made for a unique dictator.

But make no mistake – Kim was not mad. Or at least, not mad enough to be suicidal. He was very much aware that due to the South’s superior economic and technological power, it was a region impossible to actually conquer.

His father knew this too; it was what led to Kim Il-Sung deciding to pursue nuclear weapons. The nation’s founder believed that, with the Cold War over and Russia and China becoming less reliable than before, nothing else could intimidate the US out of invading. This took care of the US, but not of possible coups from within. To counter those, the scare tactic of purges kept the military and the elite in line.

Thus, one must ask: what was the Kim strategy in the event of war breaking out before nuclear weapons could be built? The answer: a scorched earth policy and the sacrifice of as many soldiers as the regime we need to make in defense of the True Korea. Kim Jung-Il personally, though, believed that such a war would end for the US the way it almost ended for the US in Cuba, where news footage led to anti-war protests. Jung-Il was convinced that, in his day and age, with cameras more prevalent and detailed than ever before, the American people would be shocked by the carnage on both sides, and a new peacenik movement would arise, calling for change and wearing away at the US’s very foundation.

“They have nuclear devices, but they would not dare use them because the American President has to answer to his idiot people, who would oppose nuclear use. During the war, we’ll continue to build nuclear weapons and possibly even threaten to use them if they do not withdraw,” the Supreme Leader once explained to Jong-nam.

In such a best-case scenario, the US would collapse and/or withdraw from the peninsula. In such a worst-case scenario, the US, would still withdraw, but from exhaustion, after several years of fighting. In the aftermath Kim Jung-Il, would stay in power, and continue his reign of terror (purges of suspected coup backers in the military and among the police).

But as we all know, that is not exactly how things unfolded…

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004


…the diplomatic trip was to reassure the South Korean President, Kim Young-sam, that the United States has its “full support” in regards to Kim’s hawkish but cautious approach to North Korea. At the moment, roughly 48,000 US soldiers stationed in South Korea, up from just 34,000 in 1992…

The San Francisco Chronicle, 12/1/1995

“I was hungry – always, hungry – and very much alone. I sometimes wish I had been a ‘kotjebi,’ a street urchin, than be born into Special Control Zone, a prison-within-a-prison where prisoners spend their entire lives and even raise families. If you could call us that. My mother and my father were both prisoners, had seen selected for family-making in the SCZ for some reason. When I was an infant, the guards killed my father for what I had always amused must have been a good reason; in the SCZ, there were only two people, good people and bad people, right people and wrong people – the guards were always rights, and us, the prisoners, were all wrong, bad people, even us simply born to prisoners. I was born to and raised by a mother who would beat me every time she returned from the labor fields. That made me hate her, and because she was in there for some reason, I blamed her for my misery. For the longest time I thought life in the labor camp was all there was, but as I grew older, I began to wonder what lied beyond the hills and jungles surrounding the prison walls. And that wonder turned to yearning and that yearning turned to desperate anguish. I wanted to know, I had to know. I just needed two things – the opportunity to leave, and the courage to take it.”

– Shin Do-Kyung’s account of his life in Park Sung-min’s anthology Nothing to Envy: Loss And Survival In A People’s Republic, Rhee-Pak Press, 2016 [1]

Kim Jong-Il again attempted to stop South Korean balloons carrying anti-regime leaflets from traveling over the border by ordering them to be shot down on sight. However, a December 3rd restating of this order led to a communication error: NK soldiers stationed at the DMZ thought they were now being told to shoot down “anything with anything,” instead of “any balloons with any weaponry.”


[pic: ]
Above: North Korean soldiers at the northern border of the Demilitarized Zone

The false message made one DPRK soldier more jumpy than usual. The situation had grown too suspenseful for him; he could no longer stand the longer and longer hours, must to him meant a grave threat being imminent, and caused his fellow soldiers to either grin madly at the prospect of destruction, or privately grimace in fear. And fear, in this soldier’s eyes, only came from real threats.

On December 4th, said soldier mistook an indigenous crane bird flying overhead to be a spy plane, causing him to being firing his automatic across the DMZ. His fellow soldiers followed suit as rumors of a South Korean fighter jet flying past them led to the soldiers’ CO ordering the firing of anti-aircraft missiles into the South Korea-DMZ border, near the SK city of Paju.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…Over one hundred South Korean military officers and citizens, along with over 50 American military officers and tourists, have been killed in a massive attack on the city of Paju, South Korea. Despite the anti-aircraft missiles being clearly fired from across the Demilitarized Zone, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il is claiming the vicious assault was a false flag attack…

– KNN Breaking News update, 12/4/1995

Before North Korean military leaders could realize their error, South Korea had already retaliated by firing “warning shots” into North Korea, striking the NK-DMZ border city of Kaesong and killing at least three according to observations. It remained unknown at time if these counterstrikes came from direct orders by the SK military or from a rogue government or military individual, as SK President Kim Young-sam took the fifth on this, saying the counterstrike was justified but stopping short of taking responsibility for it being carried out in the first place.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…Two days later, on December 6th, Kim Jong-Il ordered 1,000 troops to march to the northern border of the DMZ in a theatrical showing of force, and then went onto state-run TV to declare that all of the DMZ was a part of the north.

The Americans and the UN increased their sanctions and condemnations, of both the Supreme Leader’s “erratic and irresponsible behavior” as President Larry Dinger put it, and of all countries continuing to do business with the dictatorship. Meanwhile, South Korea’s President Kim Young-sam took a much bolder approached. On December 7th, he announced two-week ultimatum – either disperse the “band” of DPRK troops on the edge of the DMZ or make amends (via public apology of financial compensation for loss of life and property damages) for the Paju Assault within 14 days, or face “serious intervention of repercussive consequence.” South Korea’s political leaders believed, and American politicians hoped, that the South was in a position that would allow them to pressure Kim Jong-Il into submission, or at least into backing down, similarly to how the Xinjiang Camp Crisis in China had concluded with China’s leaders reversing course without losing face over the matter. However, the Supreme Leader did not believe it to be a deteriorating situation; he saw it as his moment to call the South’s bluff, for he truly believed that they would not start a war over as something as insignificant as 167 fatalities on the SK-DMZ border…

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

“In Korea, I worked as a drill sergeant for the US Marine Corps battalion stationed in Seoul, getting our troops into shape for running the amphibious boats and overseeing exercises, ours and the joint ones with the Southies. One of the soldiers under my wing was Eric Fidelis Alva. He’d joined in 1990 and was one of those fellas that had ‘unmasked’ themselves in that ‘open secret’ kind of way, and so he was one of those fellas that tend to get assaulted and harassed by some of his more close-minded fellow soldiers. I sided with Alva on this because before re-enlisting, I used to drive taxis in Boise, Idaho, at night, and I picked up my fair share of the gay community and they have true love for one another, I’m tellin’ you [2]. So I stayed close to him, but not too close – a soldier doesn’t need a mother to cling to, he needs a spine to support himself with. But anyway, my point is that Eric had an ally in me and a few others, and I did my best to remind them all that we were all there for the same reason – to serve and protect our country. Because if you easily succumb to unfounded fears about a fellow Americans, then how’re you supposed to stand up to real fears about foreign hostiles?”

– Harley Brown, 2014 interview


…While candidates Clemente, Dunham and Leland essentially condemned the President for his handling of North Korean aggression so far, Jesse Jackson and John Glenn sparred more on domestic issues. Litton, meanwhile, surprisingly underperformed as he attempted to portray himself as a “compromise” type of candidate for the foreign-policy-minded and the domestic-policy-minded members of the party…

The Washington Post, 12/17/1995

The situation is still currently being monitored as instructed. With the North raising tension and refusing to back down in response to the South increasing military exercises near the DMZ, I am surprised POTUS has not raised the DEFCON level.

– US Army Maj. Gen. J. Nicholas “Nick” Rowe, in private message to US Army Gen. Gary E. Luck, Commander of USFK (United States Forces Korea), 12/19/1995

On December 21, 1995, the 14-day deadline of Kim Young-sam’s ultimatum expired. Kim Young-sam announced that the North’s Kim Jung-Il had “decided his fate.” In the days and weeks that followed, the several prominent heads of state reiterated their support of the ROK and their use of military support in the event of South Korea requiring “defensive assistance.”

Dinger’s advisors were torn on how to proceed. “We should work with Young-sam to coordinate a proper strike,” suggested Defense Secretary Rocky Versace.

Secretary of State Perkins counters, “No, we’ve avoided war before, we can do it again. Larry, we need to get the North to open up to negotiations, maybe me or you travel to the DMZ or a neutral spot like China and we can talk this out with Kim, because – ”

“It’s obvious Kim wants war,” Versace interrupted, “We keep talking and almost-talking, and it’s all been a big waste of time. All while Korean in both countries suffer.”

“I agree, Rocky” spoke the President, “I’ve spoken with Young-sam, and with the Prime Minister of Japan, and they both agree, too. There’s a time for talking and a time for doing, and we ran out of talkin’ time when the first of one of our boys got killed in Paju.”

The next day, Dinger asked Congress to pass a resolution “authorizing the use of military resources and personnel in US operations in conjunction with South Korea,” stopping short of all-out declaring war on North Korea. The resolution was passed with relative ease.

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

Entrepreneur JOHN RUGGLES JR.: “Turn the TV off already! Thanks. Sheesh. It really looks like a full-fledged war’s gonna break out over there, huh?”

Ten-year-old HARLAND SANDERS V: “But war’s a bad thing.”

Doctor LANDO SANDERS, M.D.: “Tell that to some adults, sonny.”

HARLAND V: “But I just told it to you!”

RUGGLES: “I wouldn’t worry about it, Vee. If they try any more funny business over there, we’ll be sure to give ’em somethin’ to think about they’ll never forget.”

Businessman HARLAND ADAMS: “Yeah – we’re Americans! We never back down from a fight! Never!”

LANDO SANDERS: “What about Angola?”

HARLAND V: “Ang-what-a?”

RUGGLES: “Lando, shhh!”

LANDO: “What?”

RUGGLES: “We don’t…talk about Angola. Alright?”

– Sanders family members, home video recording, Sanders family compound, Corbin, KY, 12/25/1995 (“spilled” online in 2020)

With tension in the Korean peninsula, the US government took stock of its allies and potential opponents in the event of war being declared. In secret back-channel talks with the PRC in the summer and autumn of 1995 and again in 1996, China’s Premier Zhu and US representatives discussed the economic and geopolitical ramifications of multiple hypothetical scenarios. Ultimately, Zhu agreed that, should war break out, they would stay neutral. Furthermore, if the Kim regime fell, Zhu admitted that he would be willing to let South Korea – but not the US – occupy North Korea in exchange for there being no new military bases set up in the North, and for the US decreasing their military presence in Korea. Dinger agreed to such a scenario, but only if US military was allowed to remain in the area for an “exit strategy window” of no greater than five years. The talks were never official, but laid the groundwork for international collaboration and understanding. “Just in time,” Dinger reportedly repeated stated during these low-key discussions.

In DC, the State and Defense departments began to feel that the time for talk was coming to a close. In a private exchange with Secretary of State Ed Perkins on December 27, 1995, Dinger expressed certainty that US and South Korean forces “must act before Kim develops any more nuclear weapons,” and added, “Time is running out. Talks and sanctions are getting nowhere. We have but one option left. Lord have mercy on all of us.”

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

The Supreme Leader seemed outraged by the South mobilizing their army at the border on December 28, in case of further strikes from the North. Kim believed the mobilizing was because they were in the process of a strike. He was certain the South attacking was imminent due to their increase in military exercises off the coast of Seoul, when actually, those were only occurring due to the North repeatedly threatening them with war. On the other hand, with the walls closing in, Kim had to make such threats to ward off possible overthrow. It was a vicious cycle that was running the North into ruin.

“We will not lose the upper hand,” he announced to his military leaders at a meeting held on New Year’s eve, “Our day has come!”

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

“One evening – New Year’s, as it turned out to be – I was sent to the part of the woodlands beside the camp, surrounded by an electric fence, to haul timber with three other prisoners. At dusk, it was dark and cold. We were just fifteen meters away from the fence when the guards walked away. Usually, they would take smoke breaks one at a time, but they were more nervous than usual. We didn’t know why; nobody was ever told anything about life outside the camp.

When they both walked away, I thought, “This is it, my only chance to get out or die trying. Either outcome’s better than this.”

I dropped my pile of timber and bolted.

One of the older boys in our group was nearby, and I guess he got the same idea. Only he was faster than me, and I think may have even tried to push me out of the way. He got past me, but I’m glad he did. Whether he thought he could push his way through the fence or he tripped, I do not know. All I know was that when he made contact with the fence, there were several sparks, and a sudden burst of a terrible stench. As I reached the fence, I heard some commotion behind me; I didn’t look back. I crawled over the other boy’s limp body I scratched and burned my arms on the high voltage, likely weakened by his intentional demise. As I got to my feet, I think I heard the guards shouting. As I ran into the trees, I heard the guns; one bullet grazed my arm and another two whizzed past my head, but I didn’t look back. I kept running. I had no idea where to, but I figured that my place was better than that one.”

Below: a view of the prison camp in question, c. 1997:


[pic: ]

– Shin Do-Kyung’s account of his life in Park Sung-min’s anthology Nothing to Envy: Loss And Survival In A People’s Republic, Rhee-Pak Press, 2016

It’s arguable that the war officially began on January 2nd, 1996, when the North attempted to pull off an astounding artillery attack on Seoul in response to the South moving to seemingly invade the North over the escalation of incidents over the past several years and in the past month most particularly.

The North severely miscalculate their situation. Their carpet-bombing agenda, dubbed Operation “Wave of Fire,” turned out to be seriously underwhelming because of how many of their planes were outdated. Their Lim-5 fleet, purchased from Indonesia in the 1980s, sought to counter this with multilayered, overlapping and mutually supportive air defense sites across North Korea, but no such system was established for the attack of Seoul in time for the planes to present themselves as a formidable challenge to the North’s planes.

Many of the planes and their missiles ended up landing or crashing miles outside of Seoul’s city limits; despite their impressive sizes, roughly 75% of the North’s guns’ ranges were out of reach of the city. Even the long range 170mms guns could only reach the edge of the city limits, and the ones not hit by South Korea’s immediate counter-fire wore out very quickly because Kim had purged most of the military experts who knew how to properly handle those babies. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, President Kim Young-sam’s government temporarily relocated to Hwaseong during the “Siege of Seoul.”

The most damaging weapon in Kim Jung-Il’s arsenal, at it turned out, was not aerial in nature; they were chemical weapons such as sarin, phosgene and mustard. When the launch commenced, many NK planes dropped several tons of sarin gas, mustard gas, and other chemical, blister, and nerve agents onto the city, ultimately ruining the health – often fatally – of at least 40,000 people. In the end, these gases killed more people than anything else did during the Siege of Seoul.

Holding almost 50% of country’s population at the time, the poisonous missiles and the more successful planes being launched sent the city into a panic. Thousands went running for any sort of shelter they could find. Hundreds sought to flee by car, train, and even by boat if near the Han River, which led to traffic jams and further chaos. Gas mask distribution became a top issue as well, with the Mayor ordering stores caring away to “give them out and complain about the cost later.”

Thankfully, just four hours into the assault from the North, the South knocked out the attacking batteries, sparring the city from further devastation. This was done by South Korea going big right out of the starting gate and having fighter jets conduct the world’s largest aerial assault undertaken since the 1967 Invasion of Hanoi. The footage of a frightened panic turning to cheering crowds overwhelmed news cycles in countries worldwide.

When it came to international support, the rest of the world generally approved of the South’s reply due to the financial and economic importance of Seoul on the world stage. The South’s exports trading had nearly double since the end of the Cold War. Furthermore, Kim’s unhidden efforts to acquire a nuclear stockpile presented a national security threat to the entire region.

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

“Because North Korea has intentionally attacked and killed at least 75 American troops stationed in and around Seoul – not to mention the number of slain American tourist and foreign exchange students as well – with willful intent, I, as President, formally requested approval from Congress for a formal declaration of war on North Korea. In light of the Kim Jung-Il’s attempts to obtain weapons of nuclear capability, the Senate and House have approved, as well as our allies of South Korea, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The Kim regime has cast a fearful shadow over South Korea for too long, and with their most recent heinous and belligerent act, the regime has sealed its fate. By the grace of God, the time of liberation is at hand.”

– President Dinger’s Special Address to the Nation, 1/3/1996


…the farthest the North had advanced into the south in just 20 kilometers on the edge of the Sea of Japan, where a DPRK advance has stalled outside of Goseong and Sokcho…

– The Associated Press, 1/5/1996

“I will not send our soldiers to die in a war we have nothing to do with. This war is going to kill thousands of innocent people and I for one refuse to have any of their blood on my hands. If any Briton wants to fight over there, I suggest to head over to Canada, where [Prime Minister] Margaret [Mitchell] has disappointed the likes of me and my fellow peace-seekers by offering her nation’s support to the American war machine.”

– UK Prime Minister John Lennon, 1/6/1996

…The UN-backed Alliance of the US, South Korea, and several other countries is usually referred to as just the Alliance, or the US-SK Alliance, or even, sometimes, the Asian-American Alliance. …Kim Jung-Il seemed to believe that Dinger was bluffing, even after Senate and Congress approves of the war and the even after the Alliance was declared, and especially after the Blizzard of 1996 distracted America’s government officials, albeit temporarily. Kim was wrong…

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004


…the North American Blizzard of 1996 ravaged the northeastern United States from January 6 to January 8. Influence from the arctic high pressure system and unusually warm early January weather made for a nor’easter historically more severe than usual, with torrential rain flooding rivers reminding some of the Superstorm of March 1993. With over 100 people killed, and NYC and DC public schools having to close as over 4 feet of snow fell, one would expect this storm to have been a major news event.

It wasn’t; in fact, many tend to not recall it, even those who survived it. This was largely caused by it occurring in the midst of the Korean War of 1996, which dominated the news cycles and relegated coverage of the storm to the weather segments and the bottom-ribbon. Governors declared states of emergency, precautious measures were implemented, ODERCA readied for post-storm rescue and repairs, and even President Dinger told Americans to stay safe at a press conference. Despite all this, most Americans who look back to the month of January 1996 comment on their county’s military exploits, not so much the 178 fatalities attributed to hypothermia, accidents, and floods…

–, 2016 article

…On January 7, 1996, Kim Jung-Il finally appeared on state-run TV to proclaim “the evil race from across the sea has launched an unprovoked act of aggression against The True Korea.” The Supreme Leader immediately launched a sea-and-air invasion of South Korea. One of the first locations bombed was the American Embassy in Seoul, which had already evacuated:


[pic: ]
These attack was immediately met with resistance from the South. The North’s use of SCUD missiles, however, proved to be woefully poor; their missiles were inaccurate due to the North lack of any sort of even primitive satellite navigation technology. Their MLRS rocket launchers and nearly all artillery shells underperformed, too, as did their M-1978 Koksans, a self-propelled gun with a crew of eight and of North Korean design that proved to have a surprisingly short range. Their underwhelming firepower allowed the South Korea jets to hit their indented targets in the North – military factories, army tanks, anti-aircraft missile launchers and troop concentrations – with much more accuracy. The South sought to avoid civilian areas, but many were killed in the counterattack nonetheless…

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

…On January 10, 1996, Operation Cutting Edge began with ROK-led air strikes – not on the North’s industrial centers but on the North’s elite neighborhoods in Pyongyang and the “resort” towns of Hamhung and Anju, destroying the property of the ruling class. ROK/US forces also launched air strikes on nuclear testing and research sites at Yongbyon and other locations. These strikes were followed by land troops being deployed via aerial drop-off into southern North Korea and naval deployment on North Korea’s southern coasts, marking the beginning of an initially-slow land invasion of the DPRK...

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

…Just two days after the launch of aerial and naval campaigns, Kim Jung-Il called for soldiers on the ground to cross the Demilitarized Zone. Their send-off was used as a publicity stunt of which Jong-nam’s sister was put in charge, despite Jong-nam’s interest in the cinematographic aspect of the event…


[pic: ]
Above: North Korean soldiers pose for the state-run media’s cameras prior to them rolling into the DMZ

– Walter LaFeber’s The Sun And The Eagle: US-Japanese Relations In The Post-Cold War Era, 2019 edition

…Only 2.5 miles wide and 160 miles long, the Korean DMZ’s natural isolation of the environment from no human habitation created an involuntary park, one of the most well-preserved lands of temperate habitat on Earth, with proposals to turn the region into a national or binational reserve going as far back as 1966. The belt strapped across the middle of the Korean peninsula had developed a thriving, unrestrained wildlife after over 40 years of human-free influence (apart from land mines near the borders), giving endangered species like the Korean Fox, the Asiatic black bear and even the extremely rare Siberian tiger and Amur leopard a chance to prosper.

This made entering the DMZ more treacherous than initially thought. When the tanks entered the strip near its center, aiming for the South’s city of Yeoncheon, south of Cheorwon, my fellow foot-soldiers of the KPAGF [Korean People’s Army Ground Force] and I failed to keep up with them. There was much less organization among the lower ranks due to the haste of the operation, and soon we found ourselves without visual contact of the group ahead of us and unable to contact them on our group’s low-quality radio.

After a few minutes of isolation in the mountainous path, we heard a loud crash and then screaming from over the hill. We then heard shooting and more screams. We reached its crest and saw below the tank had somehow, in the wintry snow, crashed into a river tributary and fallen to its side. When we reached the site, we discovered that several of the men had been killed, their clothing tattered and torn, and their blood speckled the snow.

The white-naped and red-crowned cranes were merely nuisances, but the Asiatic black bear can grow up to five feet tall. We were in the territory of a sleuth of such bears. What most likely happened – based on the snow tracks – was the soldiers ahead of us crashed or damaged the tank, making the nearby bears approach them out of curiosity. The soldiers fired at them, and while some bears ran, others attacked. Several men were killed or seriously wounded, while the rest had fled.

Our CO took up the tank’s radio equipment, called in the situation, and was soon given his orders – we were to press onward, and we were to give the survivors no assistance. It would have slowed us down. Victory mattered more. If every soldier died, it would be worth it to protect the True Korea…

– Former North Korean soldier Rhee Dae-won, 2006 memoir

…The US-led “Alliance” saw a joint collaboration among the US and South Korean navies in order to properly coordinate bombardments of the coastal cities of North Korea, hitting Haeju and Nampo on the western coast (the Yellow Sea), and Wonsan, Sinpo, Riwon, and Tanchon on the eastern side (the Sea of Japan). Japan’s loaned LPH vessels played a vital role in many of these operations, with the USS Inchon preventing two private yachts and five smaller vessels – its inhabitants being either members of the North Korean elite, or North Koreans citizens or soldiers attempting to flee the carnage via bribing smugglers – from exiting North Korean territorial waters at the beginning of the conflict. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Forces flexed their muscles in an actual war for the very first time since its founding, and found that over four decades of contemplating hypothetical scenarios makes for well-trained leadership…


North Korean planes proved to be no match to US B-52s and Tomahawk cruise missiles, making the main fighting occur on the ground, often in closed quarters as US/SK began advancing into the North on the eastern side of the Peninsula, driving PDRK troops out of the South’s Goseong and Sokcho regions and then out of the North’s Tongchin and Wonsan areas by the end of the first month of the conflict.

– Walter LaFeber’s The Sun And The Eagle: US-Japanese Relations In The Post-Cold War Era, 2019 edition


...George Washington’s 1790 State of The Union Address contained only 1,089 words. Dinger’s address last night had only 1,117 words, with which the President briefly described the strength of America and her allies overseas, the growing economy giving hope to families and businesses, and national unity being vital in “this moment of truth” ...This year’s State of The Union Address was held last night instead of on the originally-scheduled date of January 23 because the date was pushed back a week after the conflict unfolding in North Korea. Dinger was seemingly eager to return to the White House’s “War Room,” as he immediately left the Capitol Building to return to the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue once the speech was over…

The Des Moines Register, 1/30/1996

…Dinger cut to the chase: “What’d I miss?”

“It looks like Kim’s family members have relocated to Hyangsan and Huichon, farther north and further inland from the capital, and may be planning to move farther up to Tongsin, but we are not too certain of that. Kim Jung-Il himself, however, may still be in Pongyang,” Defense Secretary Rocky Versace informed his boss.

“Though it could be a possible a stunt double, or simply a lie,” noted Chief Foreign Policy Advisor Susan Livingstone, “And Kim Jung-Il could really be with military leaders elsewhere, but most likely, they’re holed up in the inner basement of the Ryongsong Residence in Pyongyang.”

The President asked for a refresher: “That place has underground escape tunnels, right?”

“Yes, to other official residences in Kangdong, Pyongsong, and at least two other locations,” Livingstone answered.

“So getting him would be a huge undertaking; the world’s most expansive, expensive and deadliest manhunt,” Dinger thought aloud. “We should instead focus on troop advancements; if we absolutely crush Kim’s forces, maybe we won’t need to try and keep track of him through all this. Maybe they’ll just hand him over!”

“That’s wishful thinking,” said Vice President Meredith. “Logical wishful thinking, but wishful thinking nonetheless. With all due respect, Mr. President.”

“No, you’re right, James,” Dinger replied, and then addressed the rest of the room. “We should get Young-sam [the President of South Korea] on the line, see how things are on his end.”

The people of Seoul were brushing themselves off and contributing in any and every way that they could to the war effort…

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

…Scores of young adult men in Mexico ended up employed by cartels, often because they were the only employment around in the poorest regions of the north. Most feared them, though others welcome them because they did not “push” their “products” onto the locals; “they aren’t getting my kids hooked on the garbage, they’re selling it others. I hear 90% of what comes from here goes to America,” said one anonymous local Chihuahua resident in a 1996 investigative report by the Associated Pres…

– Roberto Roybal’s South of the Border: US-Mexico Relations During The 1990s, University of Oklahoma Press, 2015

…In the war in North Korea, we have reports that the US and South Korean forces have performed the first-ever large-scale use of weaponry called laser-guided smart bombs, which are precision-guided weapons meant to minimize collateral damage. In the US-led coalition’s performance of this technology in a push on the North Korea city of Sariwon, South Korean forces have apparently levelled a military bunker and weapons depo that the North Korean state-run media is claiming was an underground hospital for photosensitive children…

– ABC News, 2/3/1996 broadcast

“This war is going to be a major misstep. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are going to die and all because this administration failed to get the North to come out of its shell and negotiate with us.”

– Former Governor Roberto Clemente (D-PR), 2/4/1996

…On February 10, 1996, Dinger ordered the additional bombing of the upper-class districts of Pyongyang. This, coupled with Kim’s lack of aid to his wealthy supporters, angered said backers, making his reign increasingly unpopular among the nation’s elite. Kim and his Generals’ overall poor planning and coordinating of troop deployment did the same among the nation’s military leadership. In both groups, hushed talk of “going on holiday to China or Russia” became increasingly commonplace…

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004

…North Korea’s navy had over 100,000 men, but all of them had inferior weaponry and crafts. For example, the sole indigenously-built submarines of North Korea were the small Sang-O (Shark) single unit, built in the Bong Dao Bo shipyards of Sinpo. With a fleet of no more than 50, when the Second Korean War began, all Sang-Os were deployed into The Sea of Japan and attempted to fire upon the military ships of the US, South Korean, and Japan. However, as they were constructed with outdated, formerly Soviet technology, the vessels had more misses than hits, and were easily defeated by US submarines…

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

We found ourselves cornered at the DMZ border, our attempt to ransack Yeoncheon an abysmal failure. We have no aerial support and no backup; our weapons were outdated, and we lacked proper provisions. We were starving and the weather was freezing. Then our CO received word that all soldiers were ordered to shoot dead for treason any soldier who attempted to turn back. Not a single foot of conquered terrain was to be returned. This did not exactly boost our morale. We eyed Byung-hun, the most blindly patriotic of the group by far. But then we noticed our CO eyeing him too.

The next day, Byung-hun was sent ahead to scout out a reasonable path through the city. While he was gone, our CO announced that we would backtrack, back into the DMZ, in order to regroup with a larger division of troops. He said he’d received his orders through the radio equipment when we were all busy. We knew that he was scared, that, to him, killing one’s own troops was too much. We knew he was lying, that he had some other plan in mind – most likely, we were to hole up in the DMZ or in a village north of it, until we could regroup with a real division of troops. We knew what was going on; we didn’t care.

– Former North Korean soldier Rhee Dae-won, 2006 memoir

It was dark and cold and my burn wounds were throbbing. They’d gotten infected, so my body was fighting that, and the cold. I ended up heading south because the prison grounds sloped down in that direction. I ended up at a marshy river, the biggest one I’d ever seen by far, with a long fence on the other side of the bank. I’d learn later it was the north side of the DMZ. I had no idea how deep the water could possibly be and I tried to step through it. The water swept me downstream but only a few meters. I crawled out and began shivering, so I stripped. I was now cold, alone, and nude, but not afraid. I was instead hungry, as usual.

I walked along the river until the river became a stream, then the terrain became too rocky and I departed from the river and went over a long hill. At the top, I spotted a group of soldiers and quickly ducked out of sight. I crawled over a little to get a better look at them. They were heading north, and they were tired and weary like me, but more agitated. They anxiously darted their eyes around; the man leading the group was fiddling with some radio gizmo strapped to a subordinate’s back. As they were about to pass, the leader raised in hands, like in triumph. I couldn’t tell exactly what they were saying, it seemed a larger group of soldiers was heading their way from the north of them.

Suddenly an explosion sent several of the soldiers in the back flying into the air, some intact, others in pieces. A tank with markings I didn’t recognize appeared from the behind the crest of the distant hill. As it turned out, American and South Korean forces had crossed the DMZ and been following the same trail left by the North during their own excursion through the terrain. As the tank approached and the explosions grew louder, I remember jumping behind a rock formation and the sounds of the gunfight growing so intense that I had to cover my ears. Then I felt a jolt in the back of my head, and I collapsed within second. I thought, maybe the cold finally killed me. Maybe I’d finally starved to death. Or maybe one of the soldier's bullets had strayed and had struck me down, putting me out of my misery. It was dark and quiet.

When I woke up, I found myself in what I learned was a makeshift medical camp outside of Seoul, with my wounds wrapped in bandages... [snip] ...I soon found out that a mortar blast had rendered me unconscious and during my time with my face on the ground the North Korean foot soldiers and their approaching tank division had been repelled, but most of the soldiers on both sides had been killed. The advancing soldiers found me among the dead. Apparently, they mistook me for small child instead of for a young man because of how malnourished I had become.

– Shin Do-Kyung’s account of his life in Park Sung-min’s anthology Nothing to Envy: Loss And Survival In A People’s Republic, Rhee-Pak Press, 2016

"…I am mighty proud of the soldiers I trained. When time came to go into a war zone, they knew what to do, and how to do it – the right way. …I was there when we liberated Tanchon, that’s on the east coast, and the locals didn’t exactly embrace us, at least not at first. First they attacked us and tried to kill us, even as their own military abandoned them. The fact that so many of the very people we were liberating were convinced we were the bad guys was a hard reality for some of the soldiers to accept. These were not the cheering crowds found in Europe in World War Two; this was not the war of our fathers or grandfathers fought in the 1940s. This was much closer to the hell found in Cuba in the early ’60s. Our object for these violent locals was to subdue or disarm, so we’d try to get them in close quarters for hand-to-hand combat to knock ’em out. A lot of the more crazy ones did The Hari-kari Dance before we could stop ’em. Lots of them got shot in self-defense. But don’t get me wrong; a lot were happy to see us. Especially the little kids; them and the adults would reach their hand out at us, hoping for food. That was the job for the uniforms behind us – we cleared, they fed."

– Harley Brown, 2014 interview

…The North saw heavy casualties due to their poor supplies of conventional and even chemical weapons. The military’s purges in the months and weeks prior to the war breaking out created leadership voids. Both the army and the country lacked proper infrastructure, and this and the famine meant the North’s Army was comprised of weak troops who nevertheless aimed to fight to the death. …Americans back home were horrified by the high number of casualties on the northern side of the conflict, with many initially believing it to be the result of our military “going too far,” as put by Roberto Clemente after the fall of Tanchon, which left thousands of Northerners lying dead across the city streets. However, US Secretary of State Perkins responded to the criticism by beginning a “clarification tour” on multiple TV and radio programs on February 20…

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

“Update: New development Out of Hyangsan

I must commend you for your overseeing of the land-based operations in the northeastern quadrant. That is why I trust you to perform admirably in overseeing the new Operation Foxhunt. Monitoring the Chinese and all other elements have proved our suspicions. Kim never left the tunnel complexes connecting his palaces to one another – until this morning. Last week’s ransacking of the Ryongsong Residence led to us clearing out the surrounding palaces, and at Hyangsan, we got some of his ex-lackeys to squeal – he fled Hyangsan at 600 hours yesterday and is heading your way, to his official residence at Paektusan, near the Chinese border.

We’re so close to getting him, Rowe. Don’t let him cross that border.”

– US Army Gen. Gary E. Luck in classified message to US Army Maj. Gen. J. Nicholas “Nick” Rowe, Commander of USFK (United States Forces Korea), 1200hrs, 2/27/1996

…In the midst of the Second Korea War, a.k.a. KW2, a.k.a. The War of Korean Reunification, tech companies pressed onward. In a notable example, the Nokia 5110 was introduced by Nokia on February 26, 1996 [3]; as technet forum discussions and sales showed, it was the most popular kind of phone for the second half of the 1990s, largely because of its style – it looked like a phone, despite the convenient screen built into it – and because of how easy it was for consumers to use…

– Joy Lisi Rankin’s Computers: A People’s History of the Information Machine, Westview Press, 2018


…despite foreign policy, Flaherty's strong suit, being at the forefront of politician discussions at the moment, the former frontrunner’s campaign was losing momentum and money ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire… A similar problem is plaguing Litton, who suffered from a late entry into the race but may benefit from Flaherty's departure freeing up more donors...

The Washington Post, 2/27/1996

…The United Kingdom set an example for American politicians contemplating how to address mental illness on February 28, when the UK judicial system sentenced Thomas Watt Hamilton, a 43-year-old man arrested after and found guilty of attempting to violate an elementary school student in 1994, to a sanitarium to receive psychotherapy. Since 1987, UK law considered pedophilia to be “a dangerous form of mental illness,” which created a legal distinction for “unwell criminals” that differed them from nonviolent sufferers of other forms of mental impairment such as autism and Asperger’s...

– Cary Federman’s Target: Iacocca, Lexington Books, 2015

As US-SK ground forces advanced further into the North, Kim ordered the release of all of the remaining chemical weapons, even if it killed more North Koreans in surrounding areas than it would kill enemy soldiers. In 1987, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense had reported the North as having obtained, both independently and through the post-Cold War chaos, “up to 200 metric tons of chemical weapons.”

As the troops that were still loyal to the Kim dynasty took to the skies to distribute the poisons on March 2nd, Kim’s servants went about packing for him.

“Where are we going?” Kim Jong-nam asked. He was concerned about his wife and child; he had last seen them on New Year’s Eve, right before they boarded a plane to Switzerland. Just days later, Kim Han-sol’s grandfather went to war and had made his father stay by his side through it all – the nonsensical orders, the contrition that threw away troops like they were nothing, the growing scale of starvation among the people fighting to the death, the scorched earth policy of burning homes ahead of advancing US-SK foot soldiers, and now chemical warfare. Jong-nam was increasingly sickened by it all.

“We are going to continue the defense of True Korea from outside True Korea,” the Supreme Leader finally answered as he looked upon a large map of the world hanging on the one wall of the basement. This was their third day being holed up in the bottom level of Paektusan Residence, since their arrival of February 28th, and already the site was no longer considered safe. “We are so close to the Chinese border. Zhu might be a traitor to our cause, but like the capitalist scum like to say, 'money talks.' We will simply buy our way into his country.”

“And if that does not work?”

“Are you questioning my superior intelligence, Jong-nam?”

“I am considering all possible situations, sir.”

“Don’t. Remember, everything would have gone exactly as I planned it if True Korea was not so full of so many traitors!”

The young Kim thought back to how many faces from his father’s inner circle had disappeared in the past eight weeks – had it only been two months? – how each man had sworn their allegiance to the Supreme Leader, only for each one to be “purged” each time a battle was lost, or a province was overrun by US-SK forces. Underfed soldiers, outnumbered and outgunned, had "only themselves to blame," his father swore. Kim Jong-nam watched as his father stared at the map, as did I. Like the son, I was bewildered and curious of our leader’s long-term plan, if such one existed.

As such, we did not notice the sound of gunfire until it had grown very loud. By then, US forces had already breached the perimeter, and a force of North Korean peasant-soldiers were nipping at their heels, following the invaders into the residence complex and into the lower levels.

The Supreme Leader finally looked away from the wall map just as the main entrance’s doors began to shake from the pounding of enemy forces. “Heh. They will not break through that barricade, I inspected it myself.”

A battering ram smashed its way through the doors, throwing about splinters and woodchips and throwing the metal frame pieces off their hinges with a mighty clang, pound, and thud.

“Someone in here has sabotaged the barricade!” Kim Jong-Il bellowed.

An American soldier, looking through the widening entrance to the room, shouted something I later learned was English for “There he is!”

Immediately the Supreme Leader bolted from the room, fleeing to the inner chamber (expanded and refurbished in the early 1990s), down the hall, down another flight of stairs, down a second hall and behind an even thicker door. I was right behind him and two lower-ranking servants; Jong-nam made up the rear.

“Jong-nam, the door!” Kim Jong-Il shouted as he ducked into the inner chamber. His father was referring to a thick metal sliding door at the bottom of the stairs. Closing it would slow down the invaders long enough to escape through the secret back entrance and finally lose our pursuers.

As I rushed into the room to join the Supreme Leader and the two others, I was surprised by the sounds of foot-soldiers growing stronger and louder, instead of the sound of them pounding at the door. Before we could catch our breath – and before any of us could grab a gun – they invaded.

First, the South Koreans charged in with their guns raised; their orders were to try and capture him alive. The Americans made up the rest of their company, and the US and ROK troops were soon followed by the angry, starving, blindly pro-Kim peasants. As all three group piled into the large room, they all stopped in awe as their eyes caught and absorbed what was before them - the scale and contents of the inner chamber. Piled and stacked alongside the three farther walls, with each wall reaching a height of 6 meters (20 feet), were hundreds of crates of boxes, jars, tubes, lids, and packages of various foodstuffs. Preservatives had been canned and sealed, from herbal teas to Russian chocolates. Large commercial refrigerators, complete with see-through glass doors and installed in this vault-like artificial cave only a year before, stored the fine meats, vegetables and aged cheeses, along with some chilled bottles of wine of multiple regions and years. Wooden creates housed the rest, which all made for more food than any of the peasants could even fathom existing all at once outside their purest fantasies.

As such, the locals that had arrived on the scene to protect their beloved leaders slowly lowered their weapons in confusion.

“Wait, I thought there was no more food anywhere,” one of them uttered.

“Yeah, why are you hiding all of this from us, dear leader?” whispered another in a moment of pure curiosity.

Despite the ROK troops’ guns still being locked in on him, the Supreme Leader, standing between the crowd and his provisions, took one step forward and addressed the large crowd that had formed behind said ROK soldiers. “My fellow patriots, I was going to distribute this food to you all as soon as possible, for I personally stole this hoard of food from our enemies.”

One of the ROK soldiers let out a snort of contempt. Kim gave him a dirty look, and likely would have called for the crowd to "address" that soldier first, were it not for the fact that Kim found himself surprised by murmurs continuing to come from the crowd.

Then, one of the more desperate peasants, a broken one, half-mad from malnourishment and half-dead from same, began to lead further murmuring. "Why do the crates have our kingdom's writing on it. I can't read, but you can tell - that's how our leaders style things."

The US-ROK soldiers were not sure how to proceed. The COs glanced at each other and motioned to their subordinates to stand their ground.

“So can we have that food now?” A female voice finally called out, sharply, like the howl of an animal caught in a painful forest trap.

“No!” Kim shouted, likely thinking about his personal supply. He probably also thought about how much he wished he had not executed the last of his speechwriters last week, as he then awkwardly blurted out, “Uh, this, uh, this food is a trick by the Americans!”

This remark led to more murmuring as the agape mouths of the starving began to salivate. Their minds were running wild with the unbridled desire of consuming all they could to settle the pain that refused to cease shooting across their shrunken stomachs.

“Forgive me, O Great One, but that makes no sense,” shouted out a raspy-voiced observer of the contradictory statement.

A man with the look of ghosts in his eyes accused, “He’s keeping this food all for himself!”

“Why must we starve, Supreme Leader Kim?”

The voices grew in anger and disillusionment.

“We were told you are a living God, so why do you need so much food?”

“We’re dying! Give us something to eat!”

With the standoff intensifying, one of the voices sprinted out of the hostile mass, whizzing past the ROK troops and making a run at either Kim or the food supply behind him.

“Stay back!” Kim finally remembered the pistol in his side pocket and whipped it out, causing the South Koreans to ready their own. Remembering their order, though, they did not fire into him. Instead, Kim was the one that fired, right into the crowd. He first struck the voice - a teenaged boy - almost directly in the forehead, causing his running to end with an awkward flop down onto the concrete floor. Kim then kept on firing again and again, almost blindly, into the increasingly disillusioned crowd, until he heard the click of the empty chamber. The starving mass of peasants, with wide and empty eyes and yellow skin, began advancing. Many stepped over the shot and the fallen without hesitance or care. The room seemed to close in. I thought I was done for. But the angry, steaming, enraged lunatic-peasants walked right past me. They didn't a mere lackey. They were focused, entirely focused, on approaching their Supreme Leader.

“Stay back, I command you!” Kim bellowed as the peasants moved faster, past the ROK soldiers. Kim threw his gun at one them, but it simply bounced off of their shoulder and did not impede their staggering but determined gait. The crowd cornered their leader between a cooler of cold cuts fixed adjacent to a crated collection of American hard candies.

“Give us something to eat!” The mad voice from before, belonging to the man with the haunted eyes, rang out as the mass grew louder, now shouting, screaming, practically howling like wolves descending upon a frightened fat rabbit.

I heard Kim shout out in desperation. “You’ll all be executed for this! You’ll all – ” And the rest was garbled, blocked by the sounds of fabric being torn, punches being blown, and teeth, weak from calcium deficiency, doing their best to bite, clamp, and gnaw into the Supreme Leader’s flesh.

I looked back at the ROK and US soldiers. They just stood there, with their jaws hanging low, shocked beyond words at the carnage unfolding before their very eyes.

Only one of them had the sense to snap out of it and begin recording the scene on a small camera from the group's pack.

“Hey,” I quietly said to the ROK soldiers as I carefully walked over, “If I turn myself in, I fall under your protection, right? I mean, I’ll be in a nice, safe prisoner truck or something, correct?”

--- --- ---

I would only find out much later what had happened to Kim Jong-nam. The young Kim had heard his father’s command, but had not registered it. He understood that the final door before the inner chamber was all that kept out the enemy forces. Maybe it was for that reason that he froze. He just stared at the door, either contemplating something for too long, or not thinking at all. For eventually, the South Koreans and peasants arrived, and instead of trying to close the door, Jong-nam bolted to the side of the room and hid under a table that had a long, thick tablecloth on it; the invading Koreans ran right past him, and he did not come out until after I had been taken away and the ROK troops were raiding the complex. He surrendered immediately.

The news – and ultimately the footage – of starving masses overpowering Kim Jung-Il for being “a betrayer of his father’s generosity by harboring food during a nationwide famine,” as one of the, um, diners put it, was soon broadcast worldwide. While the US-SK troops who witnessed the conclusion of the Kim regime were reprimanded for not preventing his demise (with both COs being temporary reassigned as punishment for not capturing Kim alive when they, arguably, could have quite easily), the main takeaway from it all was the visual. That image of a wave of disillusioned bone-thin servants, driven simply mad by their inhuman circumstances, descending and enveloping their oppressor like a pack of wild dogs. It became an iconic example of what happens to dictators who forget to care about their subjects and left a significant impact that is still being felt today.

– Won Ung-hui’s The Kim Dynasty And The Time At Hand, Inchon Publishers, 2004


…Clemente, the leading “dove” candidate in the state, lost momentum in the wake of recent developments in North Korea. With Kim Jung-Il dead and the Hermit Kingdom seemingly going through a leadership void, exit polling suggests voters are becoming more confident in the President’s foreign policy actions. This shake-up seems to have made Clemente’s previous anti-war rhetoric seem unfounded and exaggerated, leading to two other dove candidates, Jackson and Leland, gaining more support. In turn, the anti-war vote became more evenly divided, allowing Glenn to come in first place with less than one-third of the vote. …Last week, polls for the New Hampshire primary showed Clemente with 34%, Glenn with 32%, Jackson with 17%, Leland with 11%, Litton (who did not focus on campaigning in the state) with 4% and all others making up the remaining 2%. Last night, Glenn acquired approximately 29%, followed by Clemente with 24%, Jackson with 23%, Leland with 17%, Litton with 3% and all other candidates on the ballot receiving the remaining 3%…

The New York Times, 3/5/1996

…As the news of Kim’s death swept the countryside, responses were mixed. By this point, most North Koreans had grown completely disillusioned, but a large amount believed that the circumstances of his death were lies created by “The Enemy.” The event altered the dynamics of the war, as the regime’s remaining leaders fractured between several Generals and other military leaders, supported by various leaders of the DPRK elite class, as the Kim family became a no-show. Kim Jong-Il’s brother, for example, sought political asylum at the Russian Embassy in Helsinki, while his sister went further into hiding. The lack of a clear successor increased the spread of doubt in the Kim family’s alleged divinity…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012

…with tensions in western Africa cooling down, KFC is venturing into Ghana and the Ivory Coast. “We are negotiating with the Ivorian government on a deal, and we expect the Ivorian people to be able to enjoy the experience of our establishment in select areas of the country by the end of this year,” according to a spokesperson for the company…

– Financial Times, 3/11/1996


…Leland almost acted as a spoiler to Jackson, only for former Senator Jerry Litton to siphon off enough votes from Glenn to give the state to Jackson; the results are considered an upset, as polls showed the contest to be a toss-up between Jackson and Glenn but with Glenn leading. Instead, Glenn came in at a close second place, with Mickey Leland coming in third, Jerry Litton in fourth, and Roberto Clemente underperforming with a fifth-place finish…

The Boston Globe, 3/12/1996

…North Korea’s forces saw a high number of desertions as soldiers went AWOL in the face of Kim’s death. As the days progressed, the DPRK military began to split into smaller and smaller factions, rallying around no less than two-dozen military and/or political figures each claiming to be the rightful successor to Kim Jung-Il. And the smaller these factions, the easier it was for the US-SK forces to overwhelm them and defeat them…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


The Inuit Prepare To Embrace Self-Government With Hope, Fear, and Fierce Determination

By John Geddes

…Helen Maksagak, a notable Copper Inuk, has been the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories since January 1995, but will became the first Commissioner of Nunavut upon it officially separating from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1996. This covers the conditions of the Nunavut Act, which established the new territory’s borders, and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, in which its separation from the Northwest Territories was negotiated; both Acts were formed back in 1991, under the direction of then-new PM Mitchell. The first major change to Canadian political map since Newfoundland became a province in 1949, a 1994 plebiscite chose Iqaluit to be the new territory’s capital city over Rankin Inlet by a wide margin. …The achievement of Nunavut has been a boost to government relations with the First Nations of Canada, strained since the 1989 Leaky Shack Scandal of the Nielsen administration, in which federally subsidized housing projects for First Nations were found to have inferior quality – the most iconic of them being poor roofs – and contributing to Nielsen’s loss to Mitchell. Repairing confidence in federal government can be partially credited to MP Dave Barrett, of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca since 1988, a member of Mitchell’s ministry and one of her close allies. Barret is also urging the party and administration to confront the “western alienation” encouraged by Preston Manning’s Alberta Party, in order to strengthen the PT Party’s hold on government...

The Globe and Mail, Canadian newspaper, 3/14/1996

…As the conflict in Korea continued to decline in the wake of the power void, soldiers began to act like mercenaries, offering their allegiance to whichever Generals could best guarantee for them food and protection for their families. Generals Ryo Chun-seok, Major General Ri Yong-ho, and Vice Marshall Ri Jong-san each claimed control of Pyongyang, leading to a turf war that lasted for roughly two weeks; the conflict was resolved when US-SK forces in Pyongyang killed all three faction leaders in a four-sided firefight on March 18. Elsewhere, other military leaders either surrendered, or commit suicide, often with their fellow soldiers following suit. For example, on March 15, in a dilapidating farmhouse outside of Yangdok and surrounded by SK soldiers, Choe Kwang, the 77-year-old Marshal of the Korean People’s Army, shot himself with his own rifle, lamenting in his suicide note “I have failed the People’s Republic.” The very next day, Kim Il-Chol (b. 1933; no relation to the Kim Dynasty), the Commander of the Korean People’s Navy since 1982, killed himself onboard his doomed ship in the Yellow Sea via hara-kiri; the soldiers loyal to him either followed suit or surrendered.

However, the Vice Marshal of the Korean People’s Army (and thus next in command after Choe), Kim Young-chun (b. 1936; no relation to the Kim Dynasty), was captured alive on March 17, and closely monitored due to his repeated attempts to commit suicide while in custody after that. Kim would end up as the signatory of the March 21 Instrument of Surrender that formalized the war’s conclusion, at least as far as America was concerned…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


…Glenn promotes keeping our troops in “the hot zone until we’ve cemented stability to it,” while Jackson called for “a gradual withdrawal as soon as possible”…

– The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/17/1996

…Kim Jong-nam surrendered to American forces willingly. Continuing his oath to be responsible for the personal protection of the ruling Kim family, General Yun Jong-rin ensured Kim’s other children were safe from harm. Kim Jong-chul, Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yo-Jong had all been attending the Liebefeld-Steinholzli public school in Bern, Switzerland when the war began. With their mothers (remember, they are half-siblings) soon joining them, these Kims became effectively stateless as their country slowly died. This made for a complicated diplomatic situation; South Koreans debated extradition, believing the surviving family members would encourage continued fighting from abroad. Meanwhile, the Kim children continued with their schoolwork, their classmates still unaware of their true identities…

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


…Clemente’s campaign had hoped to pull off an upset victory in this state tonight; however, tonight was Clemente’s best performance of the primary season so far, as he came in second place with 28% of the vote. Glenn won with 35%, while Litton, Jackson and Leland have basically tied for third place with each receiving about 11% of the vote…

– The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/19/1996

…Soldiers brainwashed continued to fight to the death, with some regrouping to launch brief guerilla campaigns until they starved to death or died trying to steal food from US/SK troops. …North Korea’s Sang-O-class submarines either surrendered, tried to continue fighting, or purposely sank or crashed in order to avoid surrender. Immediately, it seemed many had gone AWOL, as over 20 Sang-Os were unaccounted for by the end of 1996. Eventually, most were discovered to have fled to Russia, China, or one case, Brazil, but all were ultimately arrested or repelled from the nations. As of the time of this writing, there are 5 Sang-O subs still missing, but it is assumed they all purposely sank or crashed; still, speculations continue as to their exact whereabouts...

On March 21, 1996, officers from South Korea and INTERPOL apprehended Kim Jong-Il’s sister, Kim Kyong-hui, and her husband Jang Sung-taek, at a pier in Hong Kong, foiling their attempt to seek political asylum in Indonesia, Pakistan, or any country that would take them. With the final prominent Kim family members surrendering to authorities, US Army Gen. Gary E. Luck, Commander of USFK (United States Forces Korea) proclaimed the war to “officially over,” while South Korean forces remained cautious.

Still, US media report it as an official declaration of victory. Naturally, Dinger’s approval ratings skyrocketed from the 70s to a whopping 89%...

– Ken Armstrong’s 1996: The Second Korean War, Simon & Schuster, 2012


[pic: ]

JACKSON EDGES OUT VICTORY IN MARYLAND; Beats Challengers In A Five-Way Split Of The Primary Vote

– The Roanoke Times, Virginia newspaper, 3/26/1996

…with former Ambassador Mickey Leland being declared the winner of tonight’s Democratic Presidential primary contest in Vermont, the race for that party’s Presidential nominee continues to be without a clear frontrunner. Leland is one of five candidates who seem to have a chance of winning, the other four being Jesse Jackson, John Glenn, Roberto Clemente, and Jerry Litton…

– CBS Evening News, 4/2/1996

A HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH?: NASA Announces Meteorite May Contain Evidence Of Martian Life!!!

…Thought to originate from Mars, the meteorite possibly contains microscopic fossils of bacteria. …The grooves and bacteria-shaped husks are 20-100 nanometers in diameter, smaller than any cellular life known at this time... NASA scientists made the discovery, and NASA spokespersons made the announcement at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas...

– The New York Times, 4/4/1996 [4]

President Dinger’s April 8, 1996 Statement Regarding The Allan Hills Meteorite


“Like all discoveries, this one will and should continue to be reviewed, examined and scrutinized. It must be confirmed by other scientists. But clearly, the fact that something of this magnitude is being explored is another vindication of America's space program and our continuing support for it... I am determined that the American space program will put it's full intellectual power and technological prowess behind the search for further evidence of life on Mars.” [5]

The meteorite made headlines worldwide, causing President Dinger to make a special televised announcement speech from the South Lawn of the White House to mark the event about it being a possible milestone discovery. Despite controversy brewing over the source of the alleged fossils, most agree that, whether life was present in their formation or not, interest in the meteorite fueled an increase in interest in astrobiology…


…Even though the wider scientific community has since rejected the hypothesis due to the fact that all of the unusual features in the meteorite have been explained away without requiring life to be present on Mars, fringe theorists exist. One claims the scientific community is hiding the truth despite all the research being publicly available. Another claim is that the rock is fake, and created in order to fuel space exploration and increase NASA’s budget, due to President Dinger being like Mondale in regards to space travel, continuing the Mars Mission to honor Iacocca but overwise shutting down all other manned flight proposals...


…In the political world, talk of the meteorite discovery greatly benefited the Glenn campaign, which feared losing several key states in the then-upcoming April Cluster of Democratic Presidential primaries. Most of these states were in the south, where African-American candidates Jesse Jackson and Mickey Leland were expected to perform the strongest. Glenn barely winning the states of New Hampshire and Nevada gave clout to the notion that his campaign was about to falter. However, with talk over the validity of the meteorite dominating the news cycles, focus returned to Glenn’s decades-long support for NASA, and his campaign worked to capitalize on this; soon, the Senator appeared in segments on all five of the US’s biggest networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, TON, KNN) to share his thoughts on the meteorite’s significance, and to plug for his candidacy as well: “If those fossils are of extraterrestrial bacteria, then it will merit further study of the Red Planet, and if they’re not the remnants of alien germs, then it will merit studying what they are and how they came to be. I saw a lot of things in space, and I’ve been privy to a lot of things as Chairman of Senate commissions concerning space exploration and the like, so what I can tell you is that when I become President, exploring the cosmos, God’s biggest creation, for the benefit of humankind will be of high priority in my administration.”…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

Host SACHI KOTO: …It’s 2:45 and for those of you just tuning in, the First April Cluster of 1996 has put some winds into the sails of the Glenn campaign, and maybe the Clemente campaign as well. Voters in twelve states and territories cast their Democratic primary ballots today, and the results are the following: Jesse Jackson won Louisiana and Alabama as well as Massachusetts and Minnesota, while John Glenn won Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, and Roberto Clemente won Puerto Rico, Colorado, and Florida. Texas was only recently called, and it seems Glenn won it by a plurality, with Mickey Leland coming in third, behind Jackson. Missouri, meanwhile, has gone to Litton – it is his only pickup of the night.


KOTO: Given its high concentration and high number of Black voters, I think Glenn winning Mississippi is very impressive.

Guest Panelist ROZ ABRAMS: I disagree. It looks more like Mabus, Clemente, Leland and Jackson all picked up the Black vote, since Glenn won with only about a little over a third of total vote down there…

– KNN, 4/10/1996 broadcast


…once a leading candidate, Governor Mabus lost momentum as the primaries approached, with many former supporters and donors flocking to the Jackson and Leland campaigns. In last night’s primary contests across the South, Mabus’ best performance was 18%, or third place, in his home state of Mississippi. In his concession speech, he threw his support to Glenn, arguing the “elder statesman” had “the best chance of beating Dinger in November”…

The Washington Post, 4/10/1996


...Congressman Mickey Leland understood that failing to outperform his opponents in his electorally-rich home state would be "breaking point" of his campaign...

The Boston Globe, 4/11/1996

LITTON SUSPENDS WHITE HOUSE BID: “There’s No Honest Pathway Forward From Here”

The Houston Chronicle, 4/12/1996

American and “Victorious Korean” soldiers soon found their ways among the Kim Dynasty’s incredibly complex tunnel systems, ultimately finding the former nation’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon stockpiles, vindicating the invasive intervention by proving to the world how much of a threat Kim Jong-Il was to the world. Most scientists and technicians that weren’t captured or didn’t kill themselves, however, fled to China, Russia, and several other countries. In the past, escapee of the north sought refuge in South Korea, China, Japan and even the US; some also find their way to Taiwan. When the war ended and the North was enveloped, family members became reunited and many former escapees began to return to their now-liberated homeland.

But amid the sea of smiles, I kept wondering: how is the South going to feed themselves and the North? Competition for resources for survival will occur; a humanitarian disaster may be unfolding!

– Former North Korean soldier Rhee Dae-won, 2006 memoir

“Colonel Sanders once said ‘Punish the government, never the people.’ Indeed, we should point the finger not at those who were forced, but threat of death or by brainwashing, to commit heinousness. Point the finger at the root, at the instigators and their willing and willful accomplices. The United States will work with South Korea to honors The Colonel’s call to punish the government of the people, not the people themselves. The formerly North Korean people are victims of this war, and that is exemplified nowhere better by the gruesome details of Kim Jong-Il’s demise…”

– President Larry Dinger, 4/15/1996

…To the surprise of the North Koreans uninformed of China’s neutrality, the remaining members of North Korea’s elite and military leaderships did not receive a “here comes the cavalry” moment from an intervening PRC. Instigators of Kim’s worst policies were uncertain if they would be granted amnesty by the (former) South Koreans; no doubt, the word “Nuremburg” was stuck in their minds. In response, dozens successfully fled. Many leaders that managed to escape had to go into hiding and watch as the captured rest went to UN, US and SK courts for murder, crimes against humanity, and other offense, with Muammar Gaddafi’s legal hurdles being used as precedence. …But in 1996, it was still unknown how China planned to address the post-war Korean peninsula...

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

…Alright, and with our own state of Alaska going for Governor Jackson – or former Governor Jackson or Reverend Jackson or whatever you want to call him – well it looks like last night’s primaries have all had their winners announced. To recap: in the latest round of Presidential primaries for the Democratic party, Jesse Jackson picked up Arizona, Alaska, Maine and Washington, D.C., while Senator John Glenn picked up Wyoming, Connecticut, Delaware and Iowa, though those last two – both of which were the winner-take-all kind, at last this time around – were very, very close. I think this was a very bad night for Clemente, because he bet all his chips on Arizona, and he came in third; in fact, he came in third in a lot of states tonight...

– KAEB 91.9 FM radio, 4/17/1996 broadcast


The Miami Herald, 4/18/1996


The Los Angeles Times, 4/21/1996

…In tonight’s Second April Cluster 2, Jesse Jackson won the Wisconsin and Virgin Island primaries, while John Glenn won Illinois and his home state of Ohio, and just now, we can confirm that a favorite-son candidate, former Governor Jim Slattery, has won his home state of Kansas…

– KNN, 4/23/1996 broadcast

…In the primaries held on April 30th, Jackson won Oregon and Washington with ease, while Glenn only narrowly secured the winner-take-all contest in Pennsylvania. Glenn’s victory in Indiana, however, was relatively easier to obtain…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition


…Senator Glenn, who describes himself as a moderate technocrat and a “Median Lane Democrat” last night won the Democratic Presidential primary contests of West Virginia, Nebraska, Arkansas, Idaho, and, by a very thin margin, Michigan as well, which widens his lead in the delegate count...

The Orlando Sentinel, 5/8/1996

…UK punk rock music rose in prominence as Riot Grrrl and Riot Boy bands began to slide slowly out of their genre’s “golden era” that was the 1990s. Coupled with the rise of other groups like Oasis, Blur, Suede, and Elastica, the rise of American bands such as The Backstreets led to rival British boy bands rising in prominence as well…

…Geopolitics briefly created controversial songs in the 1990s, too. Propagandhi, the Canadian punk rock band formed in 1986, was at the front of this, as they began to shift to more technical “heavy metal” styles. On February 7, 1996, the group released a single, hastily-assembled but still catchy, called “Fingerblood,” a song that espoused a stance against warfare in Korea on the grounds of it being a part of “sick imperialistic games.” It was released separately from the group’s second full-length album “Less Talk, More Rock,” which was released on May 12, 1996. With a hardcore punk rhythm and anti-authority lyrics, the band began to compliment the works of Green Day, another rock band originating in the 1980s with an anti-war ideology. This one American, Green Day was part of the Californian part of the Riot Boi scene of the early and middle 1990s, but grew in prominence during the mid-1990s, expressing disappointment in Dinger’s inability to resolve the Korean Question peacefully, and covered the “loss of innocence” felt in the immediate aftermath of the Lee Iacocca assassination. In London in early May 1996, the two bands ended up being booked at nearby venues at the same time while both where touring the UK, and ended up hanging out after their sets were done. In a continuation of The Scene That Celebrates Itself, the band members established on a rapport and ultimately collaborated on three albums together over the subsequent ten years…

…The Dixie Chicks formed in 1994 as a female version of Take That, had their breakthrough in 1996…

…Country music in the 1990s saw the likes of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks rise to national U.S. prominence as well…

– Caroline O’Connor’s The Scene That Celebrates Itself, London Times Press, 2011

…Four more primaries were held on May 14. Glenn predictably won Kentucky, and Virginia while Jackson narrowly won South Dakota. The main focus on the night, however, was the New York primary. Jesse Jackson fought hard to win this one, but lost by a margin of less than 1%. The loss was a major setback for the fledgling campaign, and was looked back on as a pivotal moment for the Jackson’96 campaign)…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition


…When southern Koreans are asked what they think about their government’s plans for the North, most are supportive, but only cautiously. “Our government won the war, but have we really won over the soldiers. So many of us and so many of them fought and killed. How do we heal from this?” The Korean government has yet to fully flesh out a place for addressing the widespread poverty found among the former North Korean people, many of whom (but not most of whom) are hostile to their southern brethren despite receiving food from them…

– Georgie Anne Geyer, syndicated columnist, Universal Press Syndicate, 5/16/1996 article

The debate over mental health intensified on May 18, 1996, when Governor Kathleen Brown of California passed a controversial bill that lowered the state’s requirements for and grounds for inspection of supposed mental illness/impairment, and amend sanitarium laws to allow for immediate-family members and spouses to involuntarily commit people for psychiatric evaluation. The bill was passed concurrently with the greenlighting of new mental health treatment centers, to be built in order to lower the state unemployment rate. Immediately, there was great concern that people would use the law have sane people committed on trump-up charges or circumstances; US Senators George Deukmejian (R-CA) and Mario Biaggi (D-NY) made a joint press briefing on May 20 to condemn the California Mental Health Protection Law, with the former stating “this…will violate The American Citizen’s right to be considered innocent before being proven guilty.” As Brown continued to receive flak for signing off on the bill, her approval rating dropped, lowering down ten points in a month. Nevertheless, in the face of legal/judiciary challenges to the law, Brown still backed it, claiming “it will keep Californians safe.”

– Robert Wilder’s The Politics of Mental Health Services and Societal Protection in California, University of Sacramento Press, 2017

…In political news, Senator John Glenn won last night’s Presidential primaries held in Hawaii and North Carolina as Jesse Jackson’s campaign shifts its focus to the delegate-rich Final Five contests to be held in early June. Glenn most likely won Hawaii due to its key military importance this last year – Glenn’s candidacy is clearly favored by military groups and military-conscious voters. The presence of several withdrawn progressive candidates on the ballot may have also played a factor in the narrow upset victory…

– ABC News, 5/22/1996


…the state law would penalize employers or, alternatively, prevent them from firing any employee who takes time off of work to exercise his right to vote, provided that the employee can prove that he spent his time off work going to vote. Maryland’s Governor, former Presidential candidate Decatur “Bucky” Trotter, praised the state court decision… Opponents of the law are seeking to advance the case to the US Supreme Court…

The Washington Post, 5/23/1996

HOST: Tonight’s Democratic primaries were split evenly between the two remaining candidates: former Governor Jackson easily won his home state of South Carolina, while Senator Glenn narrowly won the winner-take-all contest held in Utah. On the Republican side, President Dinger’s sole opposition throughout the primaries has come from Tom Laughlin, a former actor known for advocating child psychology care and cancer research who briefly served as the Mayor of Santa Monica during the 1970s. Laughlin, who was running on a populist platform advocating term limits, public education, and tax cuts for, quote, “ordinary Americans,” unquote, today announced he was dropping his bid for the Republican nomination, despite Dinger already securing the number of delegates needed to win it six weeks ago. In his concession speech tonight, Laughlin, an outspoken critic of the war in Korea over the casualty counts, called for what he calls, quote, a “realistic exit strategy,” unquote.

LAUGHLIN (in pre-recorded footage): Our troops may end up staying there indefinitely, just like they almost did in Cuba and still are in Colombia!

– CBS News, 5/28/1996 broadcast

In the final round of primaries, held on June 4, Jackson managed to pull off an upset as the national mood shifted farther away from foreign policy and closer to domestic affairs. Jackson won California, New Mexico, and the popular vote in New Jersey, while Glenn won North Dakota, Montana, and majority of the delegates in New Jersey. Jackson’s last-minute push was not enough to deny Glenn a majority of delegates, despite Glenn’s second-place finish in the popular vote…


[pic: ]
– [6]

[1] based on OTL account described here: and also inspired by OTL accounts described here:
[2] OTL quote, found here:
[3] On April 12, 1998 IOTL, but earlier here due to technology developing faster here.
[4] 5/12/1996 IOTL. IOTL, this meteorite was called the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite, and was found in the Allan Hills region of Antarctica in 1984. ITTL, it was discovered later, but analyzed sooner.
[5] This italicized part is actually part of what Bill Clinton said on the matter; it was pulled from here:
[6] Based on the results of the previous chapter's poll, as of 7/10/2020

Note: the pacing, length, and results of the war described in this chapter were inspired by the discussions found in the following threads:, and If there are any statistical aspects that seem to be too unrealistic/ASB, or parts that require clarification, please let me know so I can go back and edit it/them in. Thank you!
Last edited:
Chapter 75: June 1996 – December 1996
Chapter 75: June 1996 – December 1996

“It takes less courage to criticize the decisions of others than to stand by your own.”

– Attila the Hun

With the President’s approval ratings persistently staying above 70%, many in the DNC began to focus more on down-ballot races. Others, however, remained hopeful that the party could pull off an upset. “The current situation is vastly different from how it was in October ’95,” argued centrist US Senator Mary Texas Hurt Garner (D-AL) in an NBC interview on June 3, “And the situation may be vastly different in October ’96 from how it is now.”

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

…In late 1995, in order to appease the war hawks in the government, Chairman Zhu allowed for the testing of surface-to-surface missiles and for the increase of military exercises off Taiwanese coastal areas, which began almost immediately. The US’s President Dinger condemned as an act of potential provocation, but nothing changed. However, after the American-South Korean coalition overthrew North Korea’s Kim, Zhu’s government began to take American President Larry Dinger much more seriously. It was not exactly a sense of intimidation so much as it was a new sense of caution. With that in mind, it was not surprising that Zhu cancelled the missile tests and ended the exercise in the Taiwan Strait…

– Shan Li’s China in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press, 2003


Disney has a history of using a certain formula for several of their movies: the main characters carry all the drama, while the side characters provide the comic relief. This has in the past led to successful and beloved movies like Sleeping Beauty, where fairies and prospective father-in-laws compensate for the heroine’s bland personality. A better example is Cinderella, where a Tom-and-Jerry precursor fill up half the running time because the titular character is too much of a Goody-Two-(Glass)-Shoes to carry a feature-length picture on her own.

Disney’s Pocahontas sees the studio return to this formula, but with disastrous results this time around. Instead of fighting a correct balance to blend a serious, historically-accurate depiction of the story of Pocahontas and John Smith, and a more cartoonish depiction of the first Thanksgiving, the tone of the film flip-flops in a painfully awkward manner, essentially creating the experience of changing TV channels back and forth. One channel depicts the dramatic moments of conflict between Natives and settlers and the relationship between the rough-around-the-edges John Smith (voiced by "Grizzly Adams" star Dan Haggerty), the titular 11-year-old Pocahontas (animated adorably and voiced by newcomer Catherine Running Bird in her film debut), and Chief Powhatan (voiced by Mako) and his brother Opech (shortened from Opechancanough and voiced by Jim Cummings).

The other channel presents a comic tale of a smug Pug (voiced by Alan Rickman) brought over by the settlers, and a Goofy-esque turkey named Tom (voiced by John Candy) who wants to avoid ending up as the central part of the first Thanksgiving (which did not occur until 1621, not in 1607). The two channels merge at the end in a rather awkward and dissatisfying manner. Tom’s life is also spared in a pretty dark moment, where it’s suggested that five deer “bullies” from earlier ended up being served at the first Thanksgiving (though it may be accurate – deer may have been the real meat served at the first Thanksgiving).

In short, this is one of the most disappointing Disney films that I have ever seen. Practically every character is generic and hygienic, though at least there is effort to give the characters at least some personality. While beautifully animated, the dramatic characters are not fleshed out enough and the B-Plot belongs in its own separate film, perhaps in a short meant to precede this films. Its historical accuracy may be getting massive praise from the likes of activist Russell Means and Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, but to me, this woefully fails to make up for the movie’s weak and uneventful plot, reliance on several Disney clichés, and its tonal imbalance.

Chicago Tribune, 6/14/1996 film review

…In the early 1990s, CBS approached Finger Lickin’ Good Inc. with a proposal for a children’s animated television series they called “The Young Colonel.” The project was meant to depict the life of Colonel Sanders was he was a young child, but also cover events from his later years as well. The idea reportedly came about from the fact that KFC was already publishing color and activity books concerning the Colonel for over twenty-five years by then:


[pic: ]
Above: The cover of one of these coloring books


[pic: ]
Above: A page from one of these coloring books

Proposed episodes covered the Colonel leaving home at a young age to travel, the Colonel in his teens, him during his brief time in the army, and him meeting interesting people while working on the railroads. KFC ultimately rejected the proposal due to its unfortunate timing of being proposed at a time of uncertain monetary woes for the company; Chick-fil-A was on the rise, and SpongeBob’s was quickly growing in size as well, cutting into the profit margins of FLG Inc.’s H. Salt Esq. Fish and Chips. While little details on the plots have survived, concept art, much of which was heavily based on the animation style of the coloring books above, would be later used for on-net/technet-based fan-art, while the concept of an animated Colonel would be revisited later on in the decade...

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

On June 22, 1996, the videogame “Pocket Monsters: Blue” was released in Japan. After being released in the United States in February 1997 under the title “Pokémon: Blue Version,” the game series were a massive hit among younger Americans.

– [1]

...The Wide-Awakes of the late 1990s took their name from the original Wide-Awakes paramilitary group created by the GOP during 1860 Presidential campaign season. This time around, though, the group was a pseudo-paramilitary organization, created by hawkish grassroots organizers, that was meant to support military intervention overseas and oppose gun restriction efforts. The Wide Awakes first aimed to influence the 1996 RNC platform and support like-minded candidates in the general elections in that November. State senator Lt. Col. (ret.) Bo Gritz (R-ID) became its unofficial figurehead after working with its organizers and advocating for them on local radio and TV stations in the weeks ahead of the 1996 RNC…


Paul [McCartney]’s album “Off the Ground” was released on June 29, 1996. McCartney later stated in a BBC1 interview “I stopped over to Lennon’s new digs in London – cramped, compared to his homes – and tried to get him to record a song or two with me. We weren’t getting the band back together, obviously. George worked on the one song, Ringo did the drums for another one, but Lennon was too busy to jam out anything. He’d only been practicing during weekends, in fact, he said. I told him he was bein’ a sod, but, since he was the one cleaning up things in the government, at least he was bein’ a sensible sod” …His first post-Beatles solo, “McCartney” (1978), was followed by McCartney II (1986) and it had some duet songs with his wife Linda. Both were successful, as were Tug of War (1989), and Flowers in the Dirt (1992)…

– Pat Sheffield’s Dreams, Reality, and Music: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole Entire World, Tumbleweed Publications, 2000


…airing on TV yesterday with plans for a theatrical release later this month, the hastily-assembled “Iacocca” depicts the dramatic moments of the former President’s life in the 1970s and 1980s, handling crises at Chrysler and his wife (played by Blythe Danner) slowly losing her battle with diabetes. Danny Aiello depicts Lee Iacocca in a dignified manner that is respectful and engaging…

Variety, 7/5/1996 review

Governor Richard P. Cheney of New Mexico responded to recreadrug cartel fears by doubling the size and funding of the state’s border patrol and the New Mexico National Guard, believing it would lower illegal immigration and state unemployment to boot. On July 5, the Juarez Cartel of Chihuahua, Mexico attempted to assassinate Governor Richard P. Cheney of New Mexico in response. The perpetrators attempted a drive-by shooting; while Cheney was exiting his private home, where he had stayed for Fourth of July celebrations, to catch a train back to the state capital, the would-be killer fired automatic rifles at his awaiting limousine. Cheney received two bullets to his recessive arm and in his chest, passing vital organs and missing his lung by two millimeters. His driver, however, was killed in the barrage of bullets that riddled the limo.

The suspects were eventually killed in a shootout when cornered by state police ten miles north of El Paso. Cheney was released from the hospital two weeks later, in time to speak before the 1996 Republican National Convention in Columbus, Ohio, where the law-and-order Republican gave a fiery speech on the need to “acknowledge and destroy [the] threat” of the recreadrug cartels plaguing Latin America. His speech helped to fire up the conservative base of the party, promote the Dinger/Meredith ticket, and make the cartels – and, incidentally, gun control – more prominent issues on the US’s national stage.

– Roberto Roybal’s South of the Border: US-Mexico Relations During The 1990s, University of Oklahoma Press, 2015


…incumbent President Claude Estier (Socialist Union) won a second seven-year term over National Assemblyman Jean-Claude Gaudin (Republican), National Assemblywoman Edith Campion Cresson (Independent Socialist), Jean-Pierre Stirbois (National Front), and several others… Because Estier received over 50% of the vote, the 23 July runoff is no longer needed, and thus will not be held…

– The Guardian, UK newspaper, 9/7/1996

…When the time came for John Glenn to choose a running mate, the Gravelite faction of the party urged him to pick someone “bold, new, exciting and historic,” as DNC Chairman (1989-1993) Ron Brown put it. Media attention soon focused on the growing Hispanic and African-American populations in the US as something that would benefit the party if they successfully capitalized on it. Upon expressing interest in selecting a Hispanic running mate in a gaffe made in a live TV interview on July 5, several candidates were suggested: Governor Ben Lujan Sr. of New Mexico, US Senator Mario Obledo of California, US Rep. Albert Bustamante of Texas, Governor Henry Cisneros of Texas, and US Rep. Bill Richardson of New Mexico were all mentioned amid the speculation. Also suggested were Gravelite Senators Nick Galifianakis and Gary Locke, as well most of the Presidential candidates from the 1996 primary cycle.

However, on July 9, the third and penultimate day of the convention, Glenn announced that he had chosen Raymond Green for running mate. Green, 49, was a moderate US Congressman representing Texas’ 29th Congressional district since 1989. The selection infuriated the left, and according to staffers, nearly lead to a walkout of over two dozen party delegates. They did not bolt, though, due to the party’s 1996 platform including some progressive points, most notably “reform concerning mental health” and “the gradual elimination of for-profit prisons.” Still, Leland received a quarter of the delegate count in the VP voting process, after voting by acclamation was struck down in an earlier delegate vote.

Glenn’s strategy (“win Texas, win the election”) was poorly thought out. Even is one overlooked his belief that he would win the Hispanic vote in New Mexico because the party had won the state in 1988 and 1992, and the claims from the moderates in the party that he had chosen a “safe” running mate, the fact remained that Cisneros of Bustamante would have made for a better running mate. The party’s underwhelming post-convention bump in the polls indicated this lack of enthusiasm for the Glenn/Green ticket. Despite this, Glenn and his campaign team largely regarded the polls showing Dinger ahead by 15 points on average, believing that these numbers would decrease sharply as Election Day neared...

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

GLENN/GREEN – A Future Brighter Than Ever

– Glenn for President ’96 slogan, first used 7/9/1996


…Lee, a member of the National Assembly from the Stability Party who is of Chinese ancestry, was a former ally of Fidel Castro. His candidate received much scrutiny, as Lee had never formally denounced the Castro Regime like previous formerly Castro-allied Presidential candidates. Despite this, Lee (who was endorsed by the popular incumbent-but-term-limited President Gustavo Arcos) defeated challenger Albio B. Sires, a National Senator of the Conservative Party, by a margin of 5%. Many compared Sires to Jorge Mas, the 1990 Conservative party nominee, in that both men were considered too business-oriented, and that both men have close ties to the US...

The Miami Herald, 7/10/1996

…In early July, the few generals that had not killed themselves finally gave up the ghost and surrendered to US and/or SK soldiers. On July 12, the Ceasefire Agreement Resolution officially dissolved the DPRK and incorporated its territory into South Korea, which soon changed its name to United Korea. The CAR also paved the way for the joint US-SK rebuilding of the North, a cost estimated to go into the billions range. However, no amount of financial coverage could un-brainwash the hundreds of thousands of former North Koreans still attacking US troops and slowly entering the former South Korea, either seeking revenge for losing the war, or, far more often, seeking out the abundancy of food promised by the liberating soldiers. A common modern reminiscence from this period concerns Northerners being shocked or even moved to tears by the sheer volume of food found in South Korea’s supermarkets. Multiple reports of violence breaking out south of Seoul from Northern diehards, however, were far more than concerning; soon, concerns of possible cam bombs and other “residual attacks” beginning in full force caused the US-SK coalition to seek solutions for how to reign in these “reluctantly liberated” individuals...

– Maurice Isserman’s Confrontational: The Larry Dinger Wars, Borders Books, 2004

“Okay, how was that?” Larry looked past his advisors and asked me.

“It was…decent,” I hesitated.

“Please give it to me straight, love.”

“To a computer or a robot, you’d sound riveting.”

He sighed, “I’m not cut out for this. Running in Iowa, I can do, even being VP and overseeing operations from the war room, I can do. There weren’t that many eyes directly on me those times. But now, an entire country…”

“Just the politically interested, dear. Exaggeration won’t help.” I walked over to him and fiddled with his tie. “You have to be more exciting, Larry. I love you because I know who you are. The people are still getting to know you; you have to show them that outgoing, comforting side of you.” I recalled an event concerning one of our children. “Remember Noah’s birthday party that one year when the clown was running late, so you entertained the crowd until they showed up?”

“Goofy voices and slapstick pratfalls aren’t going to make people vote for me, dear” he replied with a nervous grin.

“The point is you were engaging, you got them involved, you made them laugh. Why?”

He answered, “They were worried the clown wasn’t going to show and I didn’t want them to worry.”

“Yes! You made them stop worrying. You have to show that on the campaign trail – that passion to help others. Maybe some fiery oration to boost America’s confidence in you. Ensure them that you know what you are doing.”

“Well, I do think I know what I’m doing,” Larry smiled less nervously.

“They depended on you and looked up to you when Lee died, right? Make them still care.”

He kissed me, “Your wonderful to talk to, you know that?”

– Paula Gaffey Dinger’s Starting In Riceville: The Journey of Larry And I, Random House, 2011


“We’ve expelled tyranny from northern Korea; we’ve repelled fear and dark that befell us when Lee Iacocca was slain, and together, we will defend American rights and protect American families from the scourges of inequality and insecurity!”

The Washington Post, 7/22/1996

…The 1996 RNC platform called for a vague “strengthening” of a new term to describe internal safety concerns – “domestic security.” Additionally, the platform called for further farm relief, an increase of the “war” on “dangerous recreadrugs,” immigration talks with Mexico in 1997, and addressing “maintaining family values in a changing world,” a way of addressing the BLUTAG marriage debate heating up at the time (as more states and cities were considering legalizing gay marriage at the time) without infuriating or offending the far-right of the party.

Even with Meredith on the ticket, several GOP leaders still feared the party was losing African-American and women voters to the Democrats, with Republicans struggling to galvanize these demographics in the wake of the Second Ark Wave and the striking down of the 1991 Civil Rights Act. Their share of the African-American vote dropped even farther during the late 1980s and early 1990s – from 33% in 1988 to 26% in 1992 – due to the rise of “racial antagonist” individuals and groups, such as Estus Pirkle, rising in party prominence. Under Dinger, the party eye to win them back, and to win over Hispanics, with conservative rhetoric appealing to the socially-conservative Catholics of Mexican, Cuban, and most recently, Colombian heritage. Statistic and studies [2] showing African-Americans to be more socially conservative on some matters than many Democrats also gave the party hope that they would remain relevant among these voting demographics in the coming years…

– Suzanne M. Leland’s The Suit Circuses: A Look At Presidential Conventions in The U.S.A., 2016 edition

“I’m Down With Dinger,” “Dinger For Democracy,” “Dinger Can Do It”

– Dinger ’96 slogans, first used circa late August 1996

…President Dinger has announced an increase in US military personnel to be sent to US military efforts in the crumbling civil-war-torn nation of Colombia, as anti-government guerilla activities there are increasing in intensity and deadliness…

– KNN, 7/24/1996


The Washington Post, 7/27/1996



[pic: ]
Above: one variation of the Cairo Olympics logo

…Beginning on July 19, the 26th Summer Olympics in Egypt highlighted the region’s impressive transformation over the last few decades, with the only confrontations being the ones found in the arena, as sportsmanship and camaraderie prevailed over geopolitical radicalism in Egypt’s capital city…

The New York Times, sports section, 8/4/1996

…The Inagawa-kai was the third largest of Japan’s yakuza groups, primarily involved in gambling but also drug trafficking, blackmail, extortion and prostitution. Said syndicate was prosperous during the 1980s and 1990s, their assets only growing as Japan’s economy continued expanding and being beneficial for both honest and dishonest businessmen. …On 7 August 1996, high-ranking syndicate member Masaru Takumi was assassinated by agents of rival syndicate member Taro Nakano. Soon, rising tension between members of the rivalry engulfed Inagawa-kai, leading to the syndicate splitting into two rival clans, weakening their grip on illegal activities and allowing rival clans – and police – to close in on their operations...

– Alec Dubro and David E. Kaplan’s Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, University of California Press, 2003


The San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10/1996


Washington, DC – US Senator Mark Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat up for re-election and a member of the progressive faction of his party, issued a blunt warning to Democratic donors and supporters during an off-the-record conference call with KNN this week: Republicans are in a “strong” position to turn his state red in November, one of many that, if flipped in the Senate, would return Senate majority control to the GOP. “I really think Minnesota is in play,” Dayton said last week in a call with KNN’s Aaron Brown, “because Dinger didn’t mess up in Korea, and if the polls are right, he’s popular enough for GOP to make some major pickups, and some pretty unconventional ones, too.”...

Associated Press, 8/12/1996

Anchor JOAN LUNDEN: In international news, China News Service, the PRC’s second-largest state-owned news agency, has announced new and more restrictive technet rules to minimize anti-government rhetoric espoused at technet cafés popping up across the country.

Anchor CHARLIE GIBSON: Well, Pete, you’re the expert, so tell us, what does this mean for the technetters of China?

Foreign Correspondent PETER LLOYD: It means their activity on the technet will be more heavily monitored, though what kind of punishment they could receive is not yet clear, the rules simply say rule violators will be “severely but appropriately reprimanded.” So if, say, someone visits an anti-government website or even leave an anti-government post in a forum, we’ll have to see if they are just fined, or if they have their computer equipment seized by police, or if they’re blocked or banned from certain sites – because the Chinese government can do that – or if they’re even banned by police from entering technet cafés. Premier Zhu has so far been a very forward-thinking man, so I do not think he will take it too far.

– ABC Morning News, 8/17/1996

…As late as August 1996, Dinger remained reluctant to respond to Mexico’s growing economic crisis. On the precipice of financial collapse, America’s southern border had responded to the early 1990s recession by borrowing large sums of money from a plethora of nations. On multiple occasions, in response to the runaway inflation that began prior to him entering office, Mexico’s President Luis Colosio requested Dinger invoke U.S. federal emergency powers and extend a federal loan to cover Mexico’s $12billion debt in order to help them avert a financial crash, only for Dinger to decline the request. According to his former Secretary of the Treasury in a 2005 interview, the Balanced Budget Amendment was the main reason for these declinations. “To keep the loan from sending the US’s budget into the red, Dinger would have had to scale back the budget for other departments. In an election year, and at the height of Dinger’s popularity, Colosio wanted Dinger to make budget cuts to pay for another country’s debt. The American people would have overwhelmingly rejected that; thus, so did Dinger. It wasn’t going to happen, at least not before November ’96.”

– Edward Gulio Romano III’s LMD: A Study of The Dinger Days, Sunrise Publishers, 2020

…On August 26, Maine Democrat Ed Muskie, a US Senator since 1959, died in office at the age of 82. The elder statesman had been suffering from health issues concerning blood clots and his heart for several months, with their conditions possibly being aggravated by his work in the US Senate. He was planning on retiring, even saying in his 1994 re-election bid that he would serve for only one more term.

Maine’s Governor, Jim Longley Jr., as a Republican-leaning Independent, appointed the liberal Republican congresswoman Olympia Snowe to Muskie’s now-vacant Senate seat, with a special election scheduled for 1998. This switch from a Democratic-held seat to a Republican-held seat shifted the US Senate composition in favor of the GOP, from 45-53-2 to 46-52-2, which added to the Democratic Party’s fears that they would lose majority of the Senate that November…

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

In the US, the first high-speed rail project was completed in California in 1996. Connecting Los Angeles to San Diego, US and Japanese companies collaborated on The LA-SD Project, and this relatively small effort’s success and popularity among the locals of southern California sparked further interest in high-speed, and in maglev trains as well!

– John Wood’s Travel Technology: Maglev Trains, Hovercrafts, And More, Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2019

…and in Mississippi, Governor Estus Pirkle has signed into law a controversial bill that will increase tax exemptions for Christianity-based religious organizations, and will increase administrative autonomy for religious schools in the state in regards to curricula and handling disruptive students. The new law comes only weeks after Pirkle, a deeply-conservative Republican, began another controversy when he formally declared Christianity to be the official religion of the state of Mississippi...

– CBS Evening News, 8/27/1996 broadcast

The Kiev Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Global Climate Disruption (UNFCGCD) that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas (/carbon) emissions. The protocol was adopt in Kiev, Ukraine on August 17, 1995, and was opened for signature four months later… The treaty acknowledges that individual countries have different capabilities in combating climate change, owing to economic development, and therefore puts more responsibilities and obligations to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [3] … [snip]

…The US signed the Protocol on September 1, 1996, during the Dinger Presidency. In order for it to become binding, however, the treaty had to be ratified by the US Senate. Democrats held a narrow majority, but Republicans strongly opposed ratification on the grounds of it possibly harming the economy despite the existing greenhouse gas/carbon emissions “caps trading” mechanisms found within. There was also concern over China’s open reluctance to sign onto the treaty. On September 1, Dinger broke with his party by announcing his support for the treaty even if China did not sign on, citing “our collective responsibility to this planet trumps geopolitical tactics,” but also strongly criticized China for “refusing to recognize the significance of Earth.” The next step was for it to be ratified by the US Senate...


…On September 5, 1996, singer-songwriter Mike Judge’s animation debut, “High High,” began airing on MTV. A subversive parody of the American high school experience, the series showcased the exaggerated stereotypes of the high school student body with the five main characters – cynical Daria, opportunistic Jodie, gullible Bobby, and the dimwitted duo Beavis and Butthead – and the setting and adults around them. Set in the fictional Robert King High High School, named after real-life politician Robert King High - get it? High High? - it was gritty, chaotic, and was a vehicle that took cold-blooded jabs at everything wrong with the world on a weekly basis. And because of it airing on MTV, each episode contained at least one original song or song parody, usually a short bit of under one minute, with guest musicians such as Weird Al Yankovic, Tommy Chong, and Kurt Cobain (a close friend of Judge) contributing to bits. Now, when the show concluded in 2003, it wasn’t exactly a shocking tragedy – Judge wanted to focus on King of the Hill, another show of his that ran from 1998 to 2015, and his music career was going places again – but in recent years, the show has seen a revival of sorts on the technet, with many fans calling for a revival series, or maybe a spinoff of Butthead and Beavis. Honestly, though, such comic relief characters are best for shorts, not twenty whole minutes. But anyway, the recent renewed interest in the show is focused on the intelligent writing and anti-establishment tone of the show, and this has made me wonder something – is it really as great as people remember it being? In this video series, I’ll be taking a harsh look at this show, its parodying of the glamourous idealism of the 1950s and early 1980s, and the gritty, chaotic, adult-oriented violence and borderline-sexual content that made this show so popular among the teens and young adults of the late 1990s…

– transcript of video essay “High High: Unintentional Genius or Intentionally Dumb? Part 1,” uploaded to on 7/10/2017

Tim Warped
is an American historic satire television anthology series created by Trey Parker. Using a combination of live-action, stop-motion, and animated segments by guest animators, the series covered a wide variety of historical events, often parodying them through musical sequences and gross exaggerations, which led to several controversial moment throughout its run.

The series focuses on the time-traveling adventures of the only consistent characters throughout the series: Tim Vulner, a time-traveling “superscientist” child prodigy with autism; Kyle Borowitz, Vulner’s best friend; and Cartman Ericson, Vulner’s antagonistic neighbor and schoolmate who often sides with "the wrong side of history" during their travels to past events. Due to their similar premises, Tim Warped is often compared to Peabody and Sherman, despite their actual episodes and subject matter being wildly different in both nature and in execution. After two pilots were made in 1995, TumbleweedTV greenlit the show, but only after jokes about Vulner’s autism were removed from scripts in the wake of President Iacocca being assassinated by someone with mental illness. This revision led to the show inadvertently receiving praise for depicting the autistic community in a positive manner.

“Tim Warped” premiered on September 12, 1996, with Trey Parker, Chet Martin, Juan Swartz and Tawdry Teal providing voice talents and playing in sketches with recurring stars Dian Bachar and Jason McHugh, plus several guest stars, throughout its early seasons. After Chet Martin and Tawdry Teal left the show after Season Three, “Tim Warped” began commenting more openly on current events by comparing them to past events. Parker’s occasional arguments with the network executives over several episodes garnered much media attention and almost led to the show’s cancellation in 1999, 2001, and 2005. The series ended in 2008, after a three-year ratings drop, but currently sustains a small cult following.



…U.S. Senator Ralph Nader, an Independent from Connecticut, today announced that, after much contemplation, he will not run for President after all. In the announcement, Nader stated that ballot access would be a major hurdle at this point in the race, as well as fundraising and name recognition. However, analysts believe Nader, with his progressive tendencies, would have pulled more support from Glenn than from Dinger, and so it is possible that Nader has chosen not to run in order to prevent him influencing the election results. Nader, in his announcement, urged “all voters everywhere” to “listen to your heart and vote accordingly,” and endorsed neither Glenn nor Dinger. Despite this call for exercising one’s right to vote, it is very possible that anti-Glenn Democrats will sit this election out in protest of Glenn’s policies…

The Washington Post, 9/17/1996

…after months of studying the plutonium product centers and nuclear research facilities in the former North Korea, the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the Kim Jung-Il regime was in fact developing weapons of mass destruction…

– CBS Evening News, 9/19/1996 broadcast


…the unsuccessful bill would have demanded states and territories make would-be gun owners take some form of mental health test before being allowed to have possession of a firearm; the bill, ultimately scrapped over possible First Amendment and right to privacy law violations, is being looked at once again. Some Senate Democrats are considering introducing a “revised” version of the bill. …The ongoing national debate concerns Democrats pushing for stricter gun safety measures while Republicans promote mental health reform…

The Washington Times, 9/21/1996

MEXICO OFFICIALLY ENTERS RECESSION; Colosio Declares State Of Emergency As Banks Collapse And Contracting Economy Raises Unemployment Nationwide

The Wall Street Journal, 9/28/1996

…Apart from the subjects of “criminal aversion tactics,” recreadrugs and cartels, and the post-war cleanup in Korea, the Glenn and Dinger campaigns also focused on “kitchen table” topics such as private schools versus public schools, social security, and the effectiveness of the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Dinger stuck a “Colonel Conservative” message, calling for improving mental health care without raising taxes by running such programs more efficiently, blaming Mexico’s recent economy crisis on their own mishandling of their own economy, supported stronger immigration and recreadrug regulation policies, and continued US involvement in the post-war Korean peninsula. Dinger also sided with private schools as a way of cutting down on federal red tape, and praised the BBA. Social Security and BLUTAG rights were “third-tier” issues to Dinger, though socially conservative Republicans in this year went after the latter in the non-Presidential races.

John Glenn, meanwhile, supported “partial gun safety reform” and agreed with Dinger’s approach to mental health care. Glenn was also critical of recreadrugs, but with the exception of marijuana due to medical uses (and to throw a bone to progressive Democrats still bitter that their candidate(s) lost). Glenn backed public schools, social security preservation, and “slightly” amending the BBA to allow for a “one-year investment period condition” that would allow the government to go into deficit for no more than one year, in order to allow the government to make investments that had the potential to not yield results immediately. Still a centrist, Glenn swore that as President he would work with both Democrats and Republicans to find “more efficient answers” to illegal immigration and dangerous recreadrugs…

– Gary C. Jacobson’s The Power and the Politics of Congressional Elections, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015


…Dinger, who was seen as the loser of the 1992 VP debate, had a much easier time in this verbal showdown, easily deflecting what little criticisms Glenn threw his way. Dinger clarified his centrist position on gun reform and mental health care, and stood by his declaration of war on North Korea despite the continuing problems plaguing that peninsula such as chemical weapons survivors and communist guerilla diehards. …Glenn did not even go after Dinger’s objectively poor handling of Mexico’s economic descent despite the moderators bringing up said topic during their questioning of the two candidates. …Overall, this was a win for Dinger and a loss for Glenn, who is still struggling to win over progressive Democrats…

The El Paso Times, 10/1/1996

INTERPOL, Police Report: Two Floridian Tourists Killed In Tijuana In Recreadrug Deal Gone Bad

The Orlando Sentinel, 10/2/1996

…As Election Day neared, Dinger increased talk of combating recreadrug cartels. On October 3rd, Vice President Meredith informed “Meet the Press” that US and Mexican law enforcement were “looking into putting The Big Squeeze” on recreadrug-related criminal activity in the US and Mexico. “The Big Squeeze” phrase was soon picked up by other networks to describe US efforts underway not just in Mexico but across Latin America as well…

– Roberto Roybal’s South of the Border: US-Mexico Relations During The 1990s, University of Oklahoma Press, 2015

Anchor DAN RATHER: “Well I think tonight’s Presidential debate will help Glenn’s polling. He was assertive, he challenged the President on several topics, and I think he made his campaign theme of modern moderateness very well-defined here.”

Analyst TIM RUSSELL: “I have to disagree with your assertiveness point there, Dan. His constant criticism came off as cranky, not courageous. I think Glenn really showed his age here, and his persistent pessimism concerning things like how slow it will take for post-war issues to dissolve in Korea cast him as more of a complainer than a problem solver. Plus, Dinger’s call for a shift in responsibilities from the feds to private enterprise, and his proposed ‘net balance of trade’ were very well-spoken moments. I don’t think Glenn won this one, not at all.”

Guest panelist JANICE FINE: “Yeah, I concur. Dinger talked unemployment; Glenn talked spaceships to Mars. Guess which topic more people care about.”

RUSSELL: “Yeah, and neither of them discussed what should happen to Korea now that their unified but facing growing food insecurity concerns. The possible ramifications of Mexico's recession were not discussed, either.”

FINE: “And despite so many people approving Dinger’s handling of the war, there’s still a lot of anti-war Democrats that Glenn is completely ignoring. He’s betting all his chips on winning over independents, and I’m telling you, it is not going to work.”

– CBS News, post-debate round table discussion, 10/8/1996


…with the government of the nation formerly known as South Korea adding roughly 50% more people to its total population, efforts to feed the malnourished masses is quickly becoming a major concern for the peninsula, especially in the eyes of economists who ponder what the price tag will be for overseeing the well-being and social integration of roughly 20 million people…

The New York Times, 10/10/1996

…The UN has announced a special tribunal for arrested former North Korean leaders being held in United Korea on charges of crimes against humanity. The leaders in question believe they would face unfair trials in South Korean quote, and the UN and Korean officers have agreed to a UN court process for them…

– NBC News, 10/12/1996 broadcast


…Though friendly overall, there were two notable heated exchanges in the debate. The first one was Green suggesting Meredith would make for a poor Vice President for four more years due to his history of sparring with his own party; Meredith responded with “How does anyone know if their idea’s a good one if someone doesn’t make you explain how it’s a good idea? I don’t fight, I just work loudly when I have to so things turn out right.” The second heated exchange occurred after Meredith questioned Green’s experience; “Mr. Green, I served in Cuba as an Air Force Captain, and I served in the US Senate for just under 17 years. You’ve served in the House for about eight years. I’ve worked with people as far left as Mike Gravel and with people like Strom Thurmond to make sure the right bill got passed or the right call was made. If there’s any way that you’re more qualified for this job, now is the time to say it.” Green failed to make an effective counter-pitch. …Unquestionably, this was a win for Vice President Meredith…

The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi newspaper, 10/15/1996

Correspondent CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Japan’s roaring economy is not reaching some members of the lower classes, and due to rising housing and rent prices that typically come with most having more to spend, homelessness is on the rise in some places. Or instance, here in the city Shizuoka, the destitute with nowhere to go have congregated to this public park.

Anchor CHUCK ROBERTS: Condition look pretty bad there, Christiane. Is the government working on any anti-poverty legislation or proposals for these people?

AMANPOUR: Just a minute, Chuck. It seems the police have arrived, it looks like there some kind of commotion and – oh!

[camera blurs; running sounds]

ROBERTS: Christiane? What’s going on?

[correspondent returns to screen; camera shakes somewhat unsteadily]

AMANPOUR: Chuck, it appears that the police are evicting the homeless people out of the park, but the situation has quickly turned violent. As you can see behind me, the police are attack the people here with batons and using pepper spray to try and force them out of the park…

– KNN, 10/22/1996 transcript


The Asahi Shimbun, Japan newspaper, 10/26/1996

LIBERATED: Former Prisoners of North Korea Tell Their Stories

…thousands were killed in prison labor camps that were, in essence, concentration camps. Anyone even suspected of harboring anti-regime sentiments were sent to work grueling manual labor, for 12 hours straight in rock quarries and fields, half-starved, and tortured for information they never had. The situation worsened as the war progressed, with large swaths of the population being purged each and every time ground was lost to the advancing US-SK forces. The atrocities committed under the Kim regime is gaining more international attention as former prisoners come forward with their stories of hope, despair, and survival… [snip] …“I don’t know if it was luck or some kind of blessing that got me out, but I’m thankful for either just the same,” says Shin Do-Kyung, a former inmate of a major prison complex south of the city of Wonsan. Shin is still looking for his mother and half-brother, who he last saw in the prison camp. “They may have been executed for me escaping, but I escaped right before the guards abandoned the camp.” He adds with a hopeful smile, “I think they might have lived; I still think I will find them.”…

Time Magazine, October 1996 issue

…After coming off as weak and shy in the first debate and then presenting himself as a cantankerous grouch in the second, Glenn tried to thread the needle between too friendly and too confrontational on the third and final go-around. He failed.

The first question of the night saw Dinger bungle up his reply to his handling of rising recreadrug issues in Colombia and Mexico. Unfortunately for Glenn’s campaign, while Dinger’s response was considered lackluster, Glenn saying “That was a bad answer to a good question” and then failing to explain how he would handle Colombia and Mexico differently did not exactly win over undecided voters. In fact, the exchange essentially set the tone of the debate, with Dinger barely passing by and Glenn once more being a disappointing debater…

– Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes: Roads to The White House, Sunrise Publications, 2011 edition

“So it was in the news today, apparently, poll after poll are showing some troubling signs for John Glenn – he’s winning over oldsters and conservatives but is doing really badly among young voters. No sh*t! Of course they don’t want grandpa at the wheel! Of course they’re unenthusiastic, Glenn, you’re a 75-year-old elitist crony! You went to space and left your brain up there! Do you have any new, interesting, or exciting ideas, Glenn? Kids want pot, and you want to send people to Mars? Don’t spend a trillion dollars, Glenn – just let us smoke pot and we’ll all get to Mars! We’ll dance with unicorn tigers on the f*cking rings of Saturn! I don’t know what you heard with those hairy eras of yours, Grampa Glenn, but the White House isn’t a f*cking retirement home!”

– Comedian Sam Kinison, 10/30/1996


[pic: ]

Larry Miles Dinger (IA) / James H. Meredith (MS) – 63,396,511 (60.3%)
John H. Glenn Jr. (OH) / Raymond E. Green (TX) – 40,056,502 (38.1%)
All other votes – 1,682,162 (1.6%)
Total Votes – 105,135,176


…In an election "wave" that saw many moderate Democrats voted with a highly popular incumbent Republican alongside independent and undecided voters, the increasingly Democratic-leaning California was the closest state, followed by Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, in that order... the loss of his home state was "particularly embarrassing" to Senator Glenn, given that his certainty in winning Ohio was a contributing factor in his decision to not heavily campaign in the state... With this election, Dinger became was the first candidate in a US Presidential election to win over 60% of the vote since Franklin Delano Roosevelt secured 60.8% of the vote in 1936. …multiple left-wing third parties received a majority of the remaining vote, with none winning more than 0.6% of the total number of votes cast… Voter turnout was high among registered Republicans but very low among registered Democrats, independents and third-party members …Democrats performed well among centrists but poorly among nearly all other demographics... The typically Democratic states of Delaware and Minnesota voted Republican, while Democrats underperformed in other traditionally “safe” states such as Maryland, alongside areas with significant African-American populations. Several psephologists credit these results to the ascension of James Meredith, an African-American Republican, to the Vice Presidency… This election saw the GOP’s best performance among African Americans for a Presidential election since 1968…


…In what some are calling the most predictable election in years if not decades, President Dinger has won re-election in a landslide. In the U.S. House elections, Republicans increased their majority, while the GOP has finally retaken the Senate...

– CBS News, post-election round table discussion, 11/5/1992

November United States Senate election results, 1996

Date: November 5, 1996
Seats: 34 of 100
Seats needed for majority: 51
New Senate majority leader: Bob Dole (R-KS)
New Senate minority leader: Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Seats before election: 46 R), 52 (D), 2 (I)
Seats after election: 53 (R), 45 (D), 2 (I)
Seat change: R ^ 7, D v 7, I - 0

Full List:
Alabama: incumbent Albert Lee Smith Jr. (R) over Roger Bedford (D)
Alaska: incumbent Jalmar “Jay” Kerttula (R) over Frank Vondersaar (D)
Arkansas: incumbent Jim Guy Tucker (D) over Virginia Johnson (R)
Colorado: Bernie Goetz (R) over Nancy E. Dick (D) and Wayne Allard (I); incumbent Hank Brown (R) lost re-nomination
Delaware: Raymond J. Clatworthy (R) over incumbent Joe Biden (D)
Georgia: incumbent Sam Nunn (D) over John Gregory Cashin (R)
Idaho: Helen Chenoweth (R) over Bo Gritz (Defense) and Susan Vegors (D); incumbent George V. Hansen (R) retired
Illinois: John Bayard Anderson (R) over incumbent Paul Simon (D)
Iowa: incumbent Terry Branstad (R) over Jim Ross Lightfoot (D)
Kansas: Carla J. Stovall (R) over Sally Thompson (D); incumbent Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R) retired
Kentucky: incumbent Martha Layne Osborne (D) over Dennis L. Lacy (R)
Louisiana: incumbent Clyde Cecil Holloway (R) over Richard Ieyoub (D)
Maine: incumbent Angus King (I) over Susan M. Collins (R) and John Rensenbrink (D)
Massachusetts: incumbent Bill Weld (R) over Robert Stowe (D) and Susan Gallagher (Conservative)
Michigan: incumbent Jack R. Lousma (R) over William Roundtree (D)
Minnesota: Gilbert Gutknecht Jr. (R) over incumbent Mark Dayton (D)
Mississippi: Kirkwood Fordice (R) over incumbent appointee James E. Chaney (D)
Montana: incumbent Larry Williams (R) over Stephen Heaton (D)
Nebraska: incumbent Orrin Hatch (R) over Ben Nelson (D) and John DeCamp (Liberty)
New Hampshire: Ken Blevens (R) over Dick Swett (D); incumbent Endicott Peabody (D) retired
New Jersey: incumbent Mary V. Mochary (R) over Robert Torricelli (D)
New Mexico: incumbent Roberto Mondragon (D) over Bruce M. Bush (R)
North Carolina: incumbent James Grubbs “Jim” Martin (R) over Harvey Gantt (D)
Oklahoma: incumbent Bud Wilkinson (R) over Glen D. Johnson Jr. (D)
Oregon: Norma Paulus (R) over Peter DeFazio (D); incumbent Mark Hatfield (R) retired
Rhode Island: Nancy J. Mayer (R) over Donald Gill (D); incumbent Claiborne Pell (D) retired
South Carolina: incumbent Strom Thurmond (R) over Elliot Close (D)
South Dakota: incumbent Larry Pressler (R) over Gene N. Lebrun (D)
Tennessee: Hillary Rodham-Clinton (R) over incumbent Marilyn Lloyd (D)
Texas: incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) over Richard W. Fisher (D) and Victor Morales (LRU)
Utah (special): incumbent appointee Lyle Hillyard (R) over Karen Hale (D)
Virginia: incumbent Richard Dudley Obenshain (R) over Leslie Byrne (D)
West Virginia: Jon McBride (R) over Joseph P. Albright (D); incumbent John Raese (R) lost re-nomination
Wyoming: incumbent Barbara Cubin (R) over Kathy Karpan (D)


United States House of Representatives results, 1996

Date: November 5, 1996
Seats: All 435
Seats needed for majority: 218
New House majority leader: David F. Emery (R-ME)
New House minority leader: Barbara B. Kennelly (D-CT) (incumbent Dick Gephardt (D-MO) stepped down in light of results)
Last election: 225 (R), 206 (D), 2 (I)
Seats won: 265 (D), 167 (D), 1 (I)
Seat change: R ^ 40, D v 39, I v 1


United States Governor election results, 1996

Date: November 5, 1996
Number of state gubernatorial elections held: 11
Seats before: 34 (D), 14 (R), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seats after: 29 (D), 19 (R), 1 (I), 1 (G)
Seat change: D v 5, R ^ 5, I - 0, G - 0

Full list:
Delaware: incumbent Janet Rzewnicki (R) over Midge Osterlund (D)
Indiana: Steve Goldsmith (R) over Frank O’Bannon (D); incumbent Evan Bayh (D) retired
Missouri: incumbent Mel Carnahan (D) over Margaret Blake Kelly (R)
Montana: Denny Rehberg (R) over incumbent Gordon McOmber (D)
New Hampshire: Ovide Lamontagne (R) over incumbent Chris Spirou (D)
North Carolina: James Carson Gardner (R) over Lacy Thornburg (D); incumbent Harvey Gantt (D) retired
North Dakota: incumbent Edward Thomas Schafer (R) over Eliot Glassheim (D)
Utah: incumbent Jon Huntsman Sr. (R) over James Bradley (D)
Vermont: incumbent Howard Dean (D) over John Gropper (R) and Mary Alice “Mal” Herbert (Liberty Union)
Washington: incumbent Ellen Craswell (R) over Mike Lowry (D)
West Virginia: Cecil Underwood (R) over Joe Manchin (D) and Wallace Johnson (Liberty); incumbent Gaston Caperton (D) retired


…By the end of 1996, it was not just recreadrugs contributing to worsening crises across Latin America. Multiple nations in the region were also host to armed warfare over agribusiness issues, with violent land grabs overwhelming communities in nations such as Honduras and Nicragua. This conflict was over domestic agriculture production of palm oil estates… However, local small farmer insurrections against corrupt organizations stealing their land and livelihoods were overshadowed by the War on Recreadrugs…

– Roberto Roybal’s South of the Border: US-Mexico Relations During The 1990s, University of Oklahoma Press, 2015

On December 1, leaders of the designated boryokudan (“particularly harmful”) yakuza syndicate Yamaguchi-gumi were surprised when their Kobe, Hyogo offices – the group was founded in 1932 and has been a part of Hyogo Prefecture’s economic scene for decades, of course they had offices – were raided by federal police, who arrested several yakuza members and confiscated computers and paper printouts documenting illegal activities. Considered one of the largest anti-yakuza “busts” in modern Japanese history, subsequent additional arrests sent members of the Yamaguchi-gumi reeling and fleeing, and allowing members of the Aizu-Kotetsu syndicate from nearby Kyoto began to move in on the formerly Yamaguchi-gumi territory. This development soon led to rumors that the Aizu-Kotetsu had collaborated with the local Kobe police to remove their local syndicate in exchange for the Kyoto-based syndicate taking their place, albeit with activity limitations and other conditions. Investigations concerning these rumors looked into the coordinating of the raid, and eventually led to three police officers being indicted. However, all three officer were killed by Yamaguchi-gumi syndicate members before they could face trial. …By 1997, the Aizu-Kotetsu and the Yamaguchi-gumi were at war full-on with local police, certain local businesses, and with each other...

– Alec Dubro and David E. Kaplan’s Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, University of California Press, 2003

…With their membership on the decline since government crackdowns began, the Aizu-Kotetsu yakuza syndicate began to see enemies everywhere. On the night of December 3, yakuza members set fire to a KFC outlet in Kyoto, in response to KFC “moving in on their territory.” The arson attack, which ruined the structural integrity of the outlet but led to no deaths or injuries, was a move supported by local businesses who felt threatened by KFC’s competition.

The San Diego Padres can relate to the feelings the Aizu-Kotetsu had soon afterward, as the attack on KFC led to their businesses only worsening and to their sales plummeting. By the end of the decade, locals were attributing the decline and possible downfall of the Aizu-Kotetsu largely to the KFC incident summoning forth some sort of hex. In reality, their decrease in influence in the region was much more likely due to growing public disapproval, the continuation of anti-yakuza practices and crackdowns, and – most notably – said syndicate’s own poor business-handling practices and decisions as the decade reached its end…

– Marlona Ruggles Ice’s A Kentucky-Fried Phoenix: The Post-Colonel History of Most Famous Birds In The World, Hawkins E-Publications, 2020

A United Nations Secretary-General selection process occurred from 19 November to 13 December 1996. The winner selected for the position would begin their term on January 1.


The incumbent UN Secretary-General, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, was increasingly unpopular over his handling of crises in Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Burundi, and, most contentiously, North Korea. Prince Sadruddin had opposed the US-SK military coalition upon its formation despite other UN members declining to oppose or condemn it or its intervention. As a result, President Larry Dinger had the US withdraw its support from the Prince’s re-election bid. After several US allies did the same, and several more threatened to veto the Prince, his initial cakewalk to a second term became much more uncertain.


Hamid Algabid – Former Prime Minister of Niger (nominated by Niger)

Carol Bellamy – Executive Director of UNICEF and former President of the United States (nominated by the United States)

Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Egypt (nominated by Egypt)

Amara Essy – President of the UN General Assembly and former Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs (nominated by the Ivory Coast)

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – incumbent UN Secretary-General and the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (nominated by Indonesia)


As pressure mounted for Prince Sadruddin to withdraw, or for a challenger to oppose his re-election, in the midst of the Prince losing support among members of the Security Council, the Chairman of the Organization of African Unity approached suggested nominating US President Carol Bellamy for UN Secretary-General. Bellamy had worked closely with the UN since her Presidential days and more so afterwards; Bellamy was the Special Administrator for UNICEF from 1993 to 1994, and had been Executive Director of UNICEF since 1994, and had served on UN-related boards and commissions while concurrently working with US-based charities and organizations. Bellamy met with Security Council members to say she would accept the nomination on the condition that she would only serve one term, which made more Security Council members more willing to support her candidacy. Upon Kofi Annan openly supporting her, the US did the same; the US officially nominated her shortly before the voting process began.

Voting members became deadlocked between Bellamy, Niger’s Hamid Algabid, and the incumbent. Bellamy’s supporters stressed her life-long dedication to improving the standard of living worldwide, as evidenced by her actions as Mayor, President, and UNICEF Director, as well as her pre-war efforts at negotiating third-party peace talks and pre-war and post-war food-and-aid drives. After several days of negotiations, Hamid Algabid withdrew and supported Bellamy on 11 December due to her contributive work in returning Ghana and the Ivory Coast to more stable conditions. The next day, Prince Sadruddin withdrew as well. On 13 December, Bellamy was chosen almost unanimously to become the new and seventh UN Secretary-General.



The Washington Post, 12/18/1996

Christmas ’96 was a big shindig for the Sanders family. The Corbin estate was filled with the usual relatives. I and my children and company (Jim Adams, Josephine Worster and Harland Adams and their families) showed up late as usual, and were greeted at the front by none other than [my ex-husband] James and his beau Hattie. Millie, being her pernickety old self, had arrived early with [her husband] John, [their son] John Jr., and John Jr’s daughter Marlona to help set things up. They were joined soon enough by the Four Harlands. By this point, Harley (Harland Sanders Jr.) was 83 and more like our Dad every day when it came to his temper; during the evening, when the conversation rolled around to relations improving in the Middle East, Harley bellowing “If Assad falls, so be it” led to an eye-roll from Lando (Sanders III). At 56, Lando had never caught the political bug, but that did not stop him from helping Davey (Sanders IV), age 36 at the time, organize a successful bid for a state senate seat earlier in the year. Little Vinnie (Sanders V) was just as spunky at age 11 than he was as a toddler.

And at the center of things, overseeing the preparations to keeps from becoming messier than mud wrestling, was Claudia, as the family matriarch. The family concentrated onto the grounds to celebrate the year. Harley shook his cane merrily as he toasted to the troops who help liberate the North Koreans; I solemnized them with a salute. When Mildred commemorated KFC’s latest sales, though, some of the younger generations of the family groaned in disinterest.

“If we’re so successful, how come the Rockefellers have so many mansions and we’ve just got a lot of regular houses?” Little Vinnie whined.

“You can thank your great-great-grandfather for that, son,” Davey said with a smile. “He gave away most of his fortunes to charities because he didn’t want us to be greedy.”

“Says the guy on the board of several of those charities,” chortled Josephine.

“Oh? Like you aren’t, either?” John Jr. made the snide remark to his cousin.

“Alright, that’s enough of that now,” Claudia said with a voice still commanding after so many decades.

“Did he have to be so generous?” Little Vinnie asked.

There was laughter, “Generosity is better than a mansion, kid,” Harland Adams. “What’s the point of a mansion if you can’t fill it up with family and friends? And I mean real friends, not fair-weather jerks. And you know how you get real friends? By not keeping all your stuff to yourself.” Harland proceeded to offer Little Vinnie more of the mashed potatoes to get the message across; Little Vinnie happily indulged in their fluffy goodness.

“I’m so glad you like those taters, li’l one,” said Claudia, “they were made with the Colonel’s own recipe.”

The evening saw ebullient and effusive emotions run high as was finished dinner and gathered around the giant Christmas tree outside, banishing the nighttime for a long while in a costly but beautiful celebration of the Lord.

It was a happy Christmas. We didn’t realize at the time that it would be Claudia’s last, but in retrospect, it was a very respectful and touching Last Hurrah for her to go out on.

– Margaret Sanders’ The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, StarGroup International, 1997


[pic: ]

[1] Again, such a thing occurs earlier due to technology slowly progressing along at a faster rate ITTL than IOTL.
[2] One example:
[3] Italicized parts pulled from here:

The next chapter's E.T.A.: July 23 at the latest.
Last edited:
The incumbent UN Secretary-General, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, was increasingly unpopular over his handling of crises in Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Burundi, and, most contentiously, North Korea. Prince Sadruddin had opposed the US-SK military coalition upon its formation despite other UN members declining to oppose or condemn it or its intervention. As a result, President Larry Dinger had the US withdraw its support from the Prince’s re-election bid. After several US allies did the same, and several more threatened to veto the Prince, his initial cakewalk to a second term became much more uncertain.


Hamid Algabid – Former Prime Minister of Niger (nominated by Niger)

Carol Bellamy – Executive Director of UNICEF and former President of the United States (nominated by the United States)

Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Egypt (nominated by Egypt)

Amara Essy – President of the UN General Assembly and former Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs (nominated by the Ivory Coast)

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – incumbent UN Secretary-General and the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (nominated by Indonesia)


As pressure mounted for Prince Sadruddin to withdraw, or for a challenger to oppose his re-election, in the midst of the Prince losing support among members of the Security Council, the Chairman of the Organization of African Unity approached suggested nominating US President Carol Bellamy for UN Secretary-General. Bellamy had worked closely with the UN since her Presidential days and more so afterwards; Bellamy was the Special Administrator for UNICEF from 1993 to 1994, and had been Executive Director of UNICEF since 1994, and had served on UN-related boards and commissions while concurrently working with US-based charities and organizations. Bellamy met with Security Council members to say she would accept the nomination on the condition that she would only serve one term, which made more Security Council members more willing to support her candidacy. Upon Kofi Annan openly supporting her, the US did the same; the US officially nominated her shortly before the voting process began.

Voting members became deadlocked between Bellamy, Niger’s Hamid Algabid, and the incumbent. Bellamy’s supporters stressed her life-long dedication to improving the standard of living worldwide, as evidenced by her actions as Mayor, President, and UNICEF Director, as well as her pre-war efforts at negotiating third-party peace talks and pre-war and post-war food-and-aid drives. After several days of negotiations, Hamid Algabid withdrew and supported Bellamy on 11 December due to her contributive work in returning Ghana and the Ivory Coast to more stable conditions. The next day, Prince Sadruddin withdrew as well. On 13 December, Bellamy was chosen almost unanimously to become the new and seventh UN Secretary-General

I thought that the unwritten law of UN forbids electing an UN General Secretary from one of five permanent Security Council members, to counterbalance their massive influence due veto-power then others states.
So with the news of the NK camps coming out I'm expecting Lennon to get a lot of flak over his comments on the war, maybe even enough for Labour to lose the next election.